Campus Life

Working in the General Assembly: A Student's Perspective

*Note: This guest blog was written by Zack Brandenburg, a communication major and student worker in the Office of Marketing and Communications. He recently participated in the state's job shadowing program at the capitol. This is his experience.

I instantly felt at home when I stepped foot under the gold-domed capitol building for the first time. I knew this is where I wanted to be. I don't yet know exactly how my career will connect me to politics, but I feel as though one day it will.

I was chosen to participate in the job shadowing program at the capitol. This gave me a chance to get an inside look at what really happens during the General Assembly each winter. It also gave me the chance to network with our state legislators.

Photo of Zackery Brandenburg

As I walked in, lobbyists were standing around marble balconies while our local lawmakers were taking time to listen as they were worked hard for our state.

Photo of Zackery Brandenburg with Senators Chuck Payne, Bruce Thompson, and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan

Sen. Chuck Payne took me on a tour of the capitol. I sat in the gallery above the senate chamber watching and wondering how I could work there someday. I also attended a higher education committee meeting and met government and external affairs representatives from other schools in the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia. It was eye-opening learning about new initiatives coming to higher education and how representatives for colleges and universities work with our legislators, governor, and Board of Regents to advocate for the schools they represent. 

Photo of Zackery Brandenburg sitting at Senator Chuck Payne's desk

People I met from across the state were supportive and encouraging of young people who have an interest in politics. I spoke with a representative in a nearby district who knew of the great things Dalton State does, and it was great knowing that my college is making an impact all over Georgia.

Photo of Zackery Brandenburg with Representative Matthew Gambill

It was a very busy day. I learned a lot about our legislature and how they work for our state. I made a life-long memory that I am happy to tell others about. I am looking forward to returning to the capitol and working with these folks again in the future. Dalton State has given me numerous opportunities to prepare for the real world, and I knew I made a good decision by attending the job shadowing program.

I want to extend a special thanks to Vallarie Pratt, director of governmental and external affairs, for kick-starting this program and allowing me to participate, and Sens. Chuck Payne and Bruce Thompson, Reps. Matthew Gambill and Trey Kelley, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan for taking time out of their busy day to see me and taking the time to see the process first-hand.


posted 03/22/2019 in Roadrunner Nation



No comments have been posted.

HTML not allowed, max characters 255, * denotes required field.