Although the day to day work that I do for the Governor’s Council at the Massachusetts State House is not always the most interesting work(lot of data entry and envelope stuffing- important, but pretty repetitive.), working in the State House gives myself and other interns the opportunity to meet a lot of important politicians and government workers that have large roles in Massachusetts politics. Meeting these people can be pretty cool, because you get to see what these people that you occasionally see on TV, or hear about in the newspaper, or hear talking on radio shows such as NPR or Greater Boston, are really like in person, and how they got to be in the positions that they now are in. Last week all of us interns had an hour to chat with Senior Chief of Staff for Governor Baker, Tim Buckley. It sure sounds like quite the job- not only is he(and his council) in charge of managing and deciding what materials and what information reaches the governor, but he also briefs the governor on a any and all issues that the governor needs to know about, and additionally helps the governor create responses and positions for the administration regarding these issues. He also travels with the governor all around the state, meets with him everyday and manages his media relations and participates in crafting statements to the press on behalf of the governor. Quite a job indeed!
The most surprising thing to me about meeting with Mr. Buckley was that he looks to be no older than 35 (I didn’t ask how old he was obviously but i remember him saying something about graduating college in the 2000s) For someone with such a senior, important job, he’s pretty young! It was interesting to hear how he got there- he had worked for the RNC after college, worked for a couple state legislature campaigns, hopped on board with the Baker for Governor campaign in 2014, and, after that surprising victory, found himself being asked to continue working with Baker as his Chief of Staff. It was really cool to hear about how a career in politics can be made if you work hard and sustain meaningful connections with people that you bump into and work with.
Although I have no pictures with Mr. Buckley, instead I will attach a picture my dad took of me one day after picking me up from the statehouse a couple weeks ago. A bit goofy lookin’ but thats alright.
There are more than one hundred student interns working in the Massachusetts state house each day, so the governor’s internship program organizes speaker series for all of the interns so that we can get to know more about the people that work in the state house and work in government as their careers, what they do in their jobs, and how they got to the positions that they are in now. For the first series, held last week, we interns got to spend an hour with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, getting to know her a little bit more and hearing about her experience working as the second in command of the state’s executive department. The event took place in the state house press room, which, for anyone from Massachusetts, would be known as the plain looking room with the navy blue curtains where Governor Baker or Patrick would address the state from regarding snow storms or other storm danger and power outages. The 40 so of us interns in attendance sat around a big table with the Lt. Governor and spent most of the time with her introducing ourselves. When it came my turn, the fun fact I shared, in addition to talking about where I went to school and what I do at the state house, was that I wait tables at a restaurant on the weekends. After talking about that for a bit, we discovered that not only has she eaten at the restaurant that I work at, she went to high school with the owner of the restaurant and is still a good friend of his- turns out both of my bosses know each other! She recommended that we get a picture together some time to show to my other boss, which I got a couple days later when I ran into the Lt. Governor a couple days later durning a Governor’s Council hearing, Ill attach that photo to this post. Other than this cool coincidental discovery, it was great to hear about what goes on in the life of a pretty influential politician, what campaigning for office is like, what managing a super busy schedule is like, and how difficult it can be sometimes to manage giving the appropriate amount of attention to work and family. Ms. Polito has always been a politician in the local and state level that I look up to- she was the state representative for my Massachusetts district for many years, and my grandparents were very instrumental in her first campaign for office. She told stories about how her first role in government at the local level was as being a Shrewsbury selectman, and how that minor local role lead to progressively larger roles, and working in government became a passion of hers. Her advice for people my age who want to actively make a difference in their communities? Pursue active citizenship, get information from a variety of sources and to do all things with intention- If you don’t find yourself doing something with a concerted effort and passion, it probably is not worth your time, given that you could be focusing on things you’re passionate about. Thats She gives credit to that type of work ethic when discussing how she got to the place she is at now. Pretty cool stuff!