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Accepting my internship at APSCUF for the fall semester of my senior year required maneuvering my schedule. I took two classes over the summer and one during the fall semester, which meant traveling to Shippensburg twice a week to take a class. However, I would do it all again to have the experience that I had during my time at APSCUF.

APSCUF’s government-relations and communications intern, Brendan Leahy, at a CLEAR For PA and Better Choices press conference on the Pennsylvania budget in September.

APSCUF’s internship has an advantage over other internships because it provides interns with opportunities with two specialties. APSCUF gave me a better look into the public-relations side of an organization, and a first look into the government-relations side, as well. As a communications/journalism major with a minor in political science, both of these experiences will be vital in my future endeavors.

I was able to attend meetings and press conferences at the Capitol, shadowed a lobbyist for a day, operated APSCUF social-media accounts, and countless other experiences that I would not have been able to have at other organizations.

Being a part of APSCUF’s 80th-anniversary celebration was also a wonderful experience. It immediately gave me a look into the history of APSCUF, how far it has come, and where it intends to go. APSCUF has made a lot of progress, and it will continue heading in the right direction for the next 80 years.

The people at APSCUF make the internship what it is. Everyone in the state office made me feel welcome, and they were willing to help me wherever they could along the way. The professors and coaches that I spoke to at legislative assembly in September shared stories about their passion for educating students and shaping them into extraordinary young men and women. They all gave me a new outlook on the professors and coaches on campus.

I would encourage anyone with an interest in public relations or government relations to apply for the APSCUF internship. You’ll learn so much about how a union operates while gaining valuable, hands-on experience that would be tough to come by elsewhere.

Brendan Leahy, APSCUF’s government-relations and communications intern for fall 2017, is a senior at Shippensburg University.