May 28, 2019 (Middletown, Conn.) — Megan Wallett, of Middlefield, is a 2014 graduate of Mercy High School and had been attending the University of Connecticut as an English major for the past few years. But in the Spring 2019 semester, she transferred to Middlesex Community College in Middletown to live closer to home.
“I always knew about Middlesex because I grew up in the area, but my experience as a student here was beyond what I expected,” Megan said after she completed her final exams. “I am close to getting a bachelor’s degree from UConn, and being a student at Middlesex is keeping me on track.”
Political science professor Tad Lincoln, who has coordinated the legislative internship program at MxCC for several years, encouraged Megan to apply for an opening as an intern in Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s office.
“I met Megan in January, advising her as a new transfer from UConn, and was highly impressed with the extent of her political knowledge and attention to detail. Since the deadline had passed for applying to this year’s legislative internship program, a new internship opportunity opened up in the governor’s office, and I immediately contacted Megan and another student of mine suggesting they apply right away. Megan jumped right on it and was hired,” said Professor Lincoln.
Megan began her internship in February and started off working in the legislative affairs area. Her hours were on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a minimum of 10 hours per week. However, she soon transferred to the Constituent Services Office. This involved communicating directly with constituents on a regular basis by phone, email, and in person. Her office also drafted proclamations.
“This was such a great opportunity for me. It taught me not only how to deal with political affairs but how to communicate with individuals who don’t necessarily share your perspective on issues,” Megan explained. “I learned how to communicate with diplomacy and how not to come across in the wrong way.”
Megan mentioned that while individuals often called to complain, her responsibility was to refer them to the agency that provides the right assistance.
“This was the experience of my life. It helped me grow academically and as a person,” she added.
Megan is grateful to Professor Lincoln for encouraging her to apply, preparing her for the internship interview, and being a mentor and a great resource along the way. “She did a superb job and represented Middlesex Community College well,” said Professor Lincoln.
She now sees herself running for office one day, whereas before she was on the fence about it. During her internship experience, Megan saw firsthand the good work government workers provide that the general public may not fully see or understand.
“People at the state capitol really do care about their work, which showed me how promising the future can be when leaders really care,” she said.
“It’s a team atmosphere to have worked in Governor Lamont’s office. He made time to thank me for my help, making me feel important. That meant a lot to me,” Megan said.
Professor Lincoln has seen dramatic growth of MxCC’s legislative internship program over the years. These interns work with a state senator or representative in Hartford. For its size, more MxCC students are accepted into this program than any other college in Connecticut.