I have always believed that an internship is a chance to leave my comfort zone and learn something new. When I began to search for the right Ex Ed placement, I knew I wanted to be challenged by a new opportunity outside my usual surroundings, as well as pursue a field that related to my goals in life. I want to be an attorney, so I searched every type of internship that could possibly involve the legal field and ultimately settled on Senator Jennifer Beck’s office in Red Bank. Although the political world is not my cup of tea, I was very excited to be given this opportunity to face something that challenges me head on. I was invited to intern for my fall semester (2016) three days per week. My enthusiasm for being in a Senator’s office and understanding the behind-the-scenes of politics was outweighing the nervous part of me.

As an intern, I was able to take part in multiple events outside of the office and broaden my political horizon greatly. The second day at my internship, I attended a dinner where Senator Beck honored Rape Crisis Advocates. The testimonies were very powerful, and I was able to hear many advocates share their stories; I would not have been able meet such wonderful, strong women if I had not interned at the Senator’s office. I also had the opportunity to attend a luncheon at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury for the Affordable Housing Alliance that honored Senator Beck’s work with the organization. It was amazing to consistently see how a woman could be so important and effective in a world mainly dominated by men.

Inside the office, I attended meetings and was introduced to the Senator’s constituents. At one of these gatherings, I met five rabbis from Long Branch who were concerned about the assisted suicide bill and whether it would be passed in New Jersey. Meeting the voices of the Jewish communities of Long Branch was enlightening, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to begin to understand their perspective and their faith. I also met a brilliant attorney who wanted to make a difference in her community and ultimately be nominated to become a judge. Much like Senator Beck, this attorney was incredibly inspiring, and it was exciting to meet a woman who was capable of achieving what I want to do and more. Being introduced to powerful men and women at the Senator’s office has encouraged me to follow in the footsteps of people like Senator Beck.

This internship definitely allowed me to step out of my comfort zone by encouraging me to immerse myself in a new environment and grow as a student. I loved meeting new people, taking part in events, and learning what it meant to be a representative for a community. I will carry these lessons with me as I continue on to law school next year. As a student at Monmouth University, I have learned how to speak to not only my peers, but also professors and Senators. I am able to discuss multiple subjects with professionals and not feel intimidated because Monmouth has allowed me to flourish in all my classes. This internship has provided the opportunity to use all the skills I have learned at Monmouth and transform them into real-life experience.