When I first accepted my internship offer at APSCUF, I was overwhelmed with excitement, but I was a little anxious to move across the state entirely by myself for the summer.

Lindsey Newton, APSCUF intern, visits the Pennsylvania Capitol in June.

The APSCUF staff made my transition as easy as possible. Everyone was friendly and made me feel like a part of the staff from the very beginning.

This internship is special because you experience two internships in one. You work closely with the director of communications and the director of government relations, making it a great experience for any related major.

As a political-science student, going to the State Capitol and meeting with legislators and lobbyists was one of my favorite opportunities. It was exciting to get an inside perspective of what was happening, particularly during the budget season.

APSCUF has weekly staff meetings, which is a great way to catch up on what is happening within the union during the upcoming week. I also went to a few Board of Governors meetings. It was interesting to see the board vote on different issues, such as the tuition increase, firsthand.

I attended a few different rallies this summer. During the rallies, I ran APSCUF’s Instagram and Snapchat. I learned a lot about managing social-media accounts for APSCUF. I already began using these skills to enhance the social-media presence of Slippery Rock’s Young Progressives, of which I am co-founder and president.

I interviewed members of APSCUF, both professors and coaches. It was exciting to meet so many different people. This was my first time writing an interview, so I was interested in learning a more creative style of writing.

My internship was not limited to learning at APSCUF. I shadowed a lobbyist from Triad Strategies for a day. I sat in on a meeting about healthcare and learned about some of Triad’s clients and what their firm lobbies for, such as education and healthcare.

Newton, holding a poster she made for the PA Conference of Teamsters’ anti-“right-to-work” rally in June, posts photos to APSCUF’s Instagram account.

This year is APSCUF’s 80th anniversary. Interning during this time has been a memorable experience. To prepare for APSCUF’s celebration in September, I had the opportunity to look at various documents dating back to the ’40s. I even learned how to use a microfilm to read meeting minutes from the ’70s. I looked through and organized countless pictures of past events and members. Being able to see various parts of APSCUF’s history made me more grateful for this internship. I felt like I understood APSCUF and its members better.

Beyond the amazing experiences from interning, another benefit is APSCUF provides housing for interns who do not live nearby, making the internship accessible for all students in the State System, not just for students near the Harrisburg area.

My experience at APSCUF has been invaluable to me. I learned so much, lessons I likely would not have learned if it were not for this internship. I am grateful for the knowledge I gained, the experiences I had, and the connections I made during my time at APSCUF.

If you want firsthand experience on how our faculty union functions, while gaining experience in a field you enjoy, then apply for APSCUF’s internship. APSCUF is a great union for our universities’ amazing professors and coaches, and I am thankful to have been a part of it for the summer.

Lindsey Newton, APSCUF’s government-relations and communications intern for summer 2017, will be a senior this year at Slippery Rock University.