Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Session to Remember

It seems like only yesterday when I came to the Capitol –for the first time ever- to interview for the Communications Assistant position. A lot has happened between that day in January and today and I would like to share some of it. I’ve worked in some pretty interesting places and with some great people, but my experience at the Capitol has truly been special.

Working at our State’s political epicenter was a real treat. On a daily basis, tourists stop by to take pictures, schools come for fieldtrips, and there is at least one group/organization holding an event to voice its message. The one day these people go to the Capitol means a great deal to them. The significance is not lost on me. It is humbling to get paid to come to such a place. Being a lover of food, having Downtown located next door at the HISAM is also a huge bonus.

The workplace is top notch, but the job itself is even better. I’ve had a lifelong passion for civics, policy, and government. I also have a serious interest in the environment and agriculture and love to write. This job has allowed me to learn more about the things I care about and do a lot of writing.

An advantage of working in the Communications Office rather than for a member of the Legislature is that I was able to see more of what took place. One of my favorite duties was being the photographer/blogger for floor presentations. Floor presentations are held from January through early April, pretty much on a daily basis, at the start of Session. These presentations recognize people from all walks of life that have contributed to making Hawaii a better place. This session alone we honored both of Hawaii’s U.S. Senators, several educators, military personnel, kupuna, and even a high school student who identified an enzyme that is a precursor to cancer! Everything the camera sees I get to see as well. Writing blog posts on the presentations and other significant events allows me to process the information and relay it to whoever may be interested.

You can have a cool job in an awesome place, but the people you work with/for have the biggest impact on your happiness. The people truly make the place. From the two amazing ladies in my office, to the fulltime and session staffers, to the Representatives themselves, the people have made the Capitol a place I want to be.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about my boss, House Communications Director, Georgette Deemer. She’s smart, dedicated, fair, personable, and very, very good at what she does. She allowed me to follow committees and legislation that I have an interest in, was always available to help me if I had any questions, doesn’t micromanage, allowed me to tackle progressively challenging assignments, and always gave me credit for my work. Thelma Dreyer, the Assistant Communications Director has been a dream to work with. She’s smart, a great writer, really fun and friendly, and helped me tremendously.

This experience has been, without a doubt, the most fun I’ve ever had at a job. I looked forward to coming to work every day, learned so much, and feel that I’ve accomplished something. My position was only for the session, so my time here is done for now. I’m looking forward to having a great “offseason” and, hopefully, coming back next year. Mahalo to everyone for making this a session to remember. 

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