While a student, Julie secured an internship at the State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia, where she served under Rep. Sharon Trense. As the legislative aid for Rep. Trense, the political science major did “basically anything and everything she needed,” from attending meetings on her behalf to researching healthcare issues and crafting key pieces of legislation.
“Being able to get to know a lot of state legislators and other staff really catapulted my career,” Julie said. “One of the representatives that I got to know from my time at the Capitol – current Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens – actually recommended me for my first job that I started three days after finishing classes at Georgia.”
Julie’s internship gave her the confidence to seek more mentors who could help prepare her for a career in politics. After finishing her internship, she connected with then-UGA President Michael F. Adams when she returned to Athens. Adams, a former chief of staff for U.S. Senator Howard Baker and U.S. House nominee for Tennessee’s Fifth District, provided Julie with further insight into her desired career path.
“It really meant a lot to me that the president of the university took the time to meet with an undergraduate student to give some professional advice,” Julie said. “It’s a memory that I treasure 20 years later.”