Shortly after exams were over in May, three students packed their bags for an eight-week getaway. But this was no vacation.
The students were part of Xavier’s first statehouse internship program at the state capital in Columbus, Ohio, that put them in the heart of the Ohio State Legislature.
Associate professor of political science Mack Mariani says this year’s pilot program was so successful it will be offered again next year. “We wanted to take advantage of the fact we have this big capital two hours from our campus, and we have these alumni there doing great things whom we are able to partner with. It strengthens connections with our alumni in Columbus and allows us to give students skills to take into the job market.”
Xavier has similar internship programs in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C.
The program came about after an alumnus working at the statehouse contacted Mariani and Gene Beaupre, a professor in the Philosophy, Politics and the Public honors program, suggesting they take advantage of the number of alumni in Columbus who could help place students into legislative internships.
“It took us a few weeks to get it going. It was such short notice that only three got to do it,” Beaupre says. “I think next year we’ll have at least eight.”