The Austin internship program helps to develop hard working individuals by allowing them to take on real-life work experience. As the Legislative Session starts to gear up, the Sam Houston Austin Interns have begun to take on more responsibilities in their offices. From picking up constituent phone calls, to attending committees on bills that will affect all Texans’ lives, the intern agenda is booked all day, and sometimes all evenings, too.
As for my internship, I work for Representative Jim Murphy of District 133. The district encompasses the West Houston suburbs. Representative Murphy’s background as a businessman provides him with a good background for his career in “the ledge”–as many legislative veterans refer to the capitol. His tenure has provided additional expertise in the legislature, and this session marks the fifth for Representative Murphy.
Working in his office has been fulfilling. In our office, our camaraderie as “TEAM MURPHY” unites us in working together to accomplish every task and keeping a high morale to succeed in every task. No job is too big or too little for any of us. With our mantra of” Work harder!” passed down through sessions from other staff members, our mission is to do as much as we can to serve the constituents of District 133. Some of the other students in my office include Dominique Hawkins from A&M University, Troy Allen from The University of Houston (Hobby Fellow), and Ashwanti Pattel from The University of Texas.
As for my office responsibilities, I am in charge of Representative Murphy’s scheduling, making sure he is where he needs to be when he needs to be there. Additionally, I work with constituents and lobbyists both in person and on the phone. This ensures that our district is represented correctly as everyone’s voice is heard. And even though scheduling takes up a lot of my day, I still find the time to work on legislation.
But with hard work comes rewarding fun. The Texas Capitol is filled with exciting day to day activities. From real-life rattle snake exhibitions…
…to Legislator-football games, there is always something to be a part of. After our week in Austin, LEAP Ambassadors and fellow Austin Interns Brian Aldaco and Kaitlyn Tyra, joined me in exploring some of Austin’s hipster treasures.
That Friday afternoon, we changed from suits to our causal garb and decided to start our adventure by visiting Treaty Oak Square. As weird as it may be to commemorate an oak tree in the middle of the city, this particular tree has had its roots grounded in Austin soil since before Columbus’ discovery of North America. In other words, the oak tree in Treaty Oak Square is over 500 years old! Needless to say, the oak tree has witnessed countless events in Texas history. Among them was the birth of the city of Austin. Stephen F. Austin signed a boundary treaty under the branches of the tree. The treaty was between his settlers, the Tehama, and the Comanche, allowing for a peaceful settlement for future Texans to come. Now the tree is fenced in and protected by the City of Austin. As the branches hang at over 127 feet of length, it was hard to take a good photo. But you don’t come across someone that old too often so we decided that it was worth the try to take a selfie.
From Treaty Oak, we continued on our trek and after a 2 mile walk we finally reached Zilker park. Zilker park is a prime urban park for jogging, biking, and music festivals. Additionally, it is a great place to see the skyline of Austin.
Under the city lights and an exceptionally bright moon, we decided it was a perfect place to play some frisbee. After getting a good workout, we decided it was time for some food.
As any one knows, you are not an Austin resident if you don’t food-truck-dine at least once a week.
From Zilker park there are multiple food truck parks. So it was only a matter of hungry seconds before we found one. Dawa Sushi, a sushi truck owned by a very nice couple off of Barton Springs Rd, was just what we needed. With delicious sushi, (the greatest in Austin if you ask me), we agreed we would definitely revisit. After gulping down our last tempura roll, we hiked up Congress and back to the Capitol Garage. Our 6 mile tour had ended successfully as we had visited some of the places that make Austin, well Austin. But more is left to see of this town, and yet more do I anticipate to enjoy from the rest of my Legislative adventure as an Austin Intern.