North Texas Daily

SGA begins yearly intern program with meeting and interviews

SGA begins yearly intern program with meeting and interviews

September 18
16:52 2017

The Student Government Association started its yearly intern program Tuesday with their first intern meeting. The program, previously known as the Freshman Intern Program, changed certain requirements beginning this year to give new transfers and UNT freshmen the ability to apply.

The 2016-2017 class of interns consists of 19 students who were chosen from 77 initial applicants. Intern hopefuls go through a two-step process to join the program.

First, students who wish to join the program must complete an application via Orgsync. SGA members then email those selected to continue to the next round and invite them to be interviewed. The interviews are a nearly hour and a half long process, which consists of a speed question and answer session and a group activity where participants work together to complete a task in an offered scenario.

Mentorship plays a major role in the internship, with each intern being paired with an upperclassman at UNT who is not part of SGA.

“Upon selecting the interns, one thing I noticed among them was that they really appreciated and were looking forward to the mentorship,” Intern Program Director Myriah Ford said. “Because of course when you come to college it’s not guaranteed you’ll have someone to look up to who’s willing to guide you and to take that extra time.”

Some of the interns’ responsibilities include attending a weekly intern meeting, bi-weekly SGA senate meetings, going on group outings with mentors, meeting one-on-one with Ford, engaging in community service and attending external leadership experiences each semester.

The program intends to help interns gain professional and leadership skills as well as guide them through their first year at UNT. Past interns said one of the most useful parts of the program was being exposed to a variety of leadership opportunities at UNT.

“It was a really big stepping stone to get my feet in the water at UNT and see all the leadership experiences and community service opportunities that it has to offer,” said Taylor Willis, a past intern and current governmental affairs director. “As a freshman, I was really able to grasp everything that was going on within the university, so that was a good lead-in for me.”

Willis said the experience helped introduce her to the details of how SGA operates and readied her for her current executive position. Many interns find being part of the program led to later opportunities with SGA.

Paige Sennet, another past intern, did the program as a freshman in 2015-2016. She became an SGA senator the next year and is now director of outreach.

“The freshman intern program really set the tone for what I wanted my college career to look like,” Sennet said. “It showed me what types of organizations I wanted to be involved in.”

The internship teaches professional skills such as resume building, cover letter writing and public speaking to prepare students for their careers.

“I personally believe the best part of the program is the fact that not only are you able to come to a college campus and see the other students building themselves up by being integrated into the campus, but of course you’re doing that on such a big scale,” Ford said. “Being implemented into SGA, what comes from that are experiences you can use not just on a college campus but after.”

SGA members said the experience can prove valuable to anyone, not just students interested in politics.

“Honestly anyone should apply,” Willis said. “I’d definitely classify the intern program as being more of an overall leadership building program. Yes, you get to learn a lot about what SGA is and all that we do, but there’s a big aspect of just building yourself as a leader to succeed as a student at UNT and it can lead you into other leadership roles around campus.”

Ford’s tips for applicants?

Be open-minded, manage your time well and think critically.

“Make sure you’re immersing yourself in diversity and preparing yourself to be an open-minded individual,” Ford said. “Make sure you’re demonstrating you’re willing to give the effort to be the next student leader on campus.”

SGA senate meetings are held biweekly in Union 332 and are open to the public. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Featured Image: The Student Government Association takes freshman interns so they can learn how student government works along with developing leadership skills. Kelsey Shoemaker

About Author

Sarah Sarder

Sarah Sarder

Sarah Sarder is the Senior News Writer for the North Texas Daily.

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