Genevieve Krass Selected for TN Legislative Internship Program

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Genevieve Krass, a junior environmental and soil sciences major, is participating in the Tennessee Legislative Internship Program for the spring 2024 semester. An incredibly prestigious professional opportunity, Krass will spend the next few months learning from state legislative leaders in Nashville, TN.

What drew you to the Herbert College of Agriculture?

I was drawn to the Herbert College of Agriculture by the environmental and soil sciences (ESS) major. I originally attended Virginia Tech to study neuroscience, but transferred to UTK during my sophomore year. I learned about the ESS major from a close friend, who currently studies plant sciences in the Herbert College of Agriculture. She recommended that I look into ESS because of my interest in the environment. What I like most about the ESS major is that it has a broad background in the sciences, requiring courses like biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. Additionally, the professors, advisors, and other faculty in the ESS department and the Herbert College of Agriculture are extremely knowledgeable, supportive, and kind.

What was your reaction when you found out you were selected for the TN Legislative Internship Program?

I remember that I was sitting at the counter with my family when I received my acceptance email. I exclaimed to my family that I got the internship, and my mom ran over to give me a hug. I was shocked that I was accepted into the TN Legislative Internship Program. I had no experience in legislature, law, or political science, and the interview panel was my first professional interview. I was also thrilled about the opportunity because I knew I would learn so much about legislature, state politics, and working in a professional office setting.

What led you to pursue this opportunity?

I decided to pursue the TN Legislative Internship Program to gain experience in policy-making. I hoped that the internship would provide me with a better understanding of what a career in law or legislature might look like. I also thought the internship sounded cool, especially since I would be living and working for four months in Nashville, TN.

What do you hope to learn or skills do you hope to gain during the internship?

Through this internship, I hope to learn how to handle myself in a professional setting. The state legislators work under the scrutiny of the public, and I will be representing them in how I dress, how I speak, and how I work. Additionally, I hope to understand the nuances of politics and legislation so that I can become a better participant in state government.

How does this contribute to your future professional goals?

I am unsure of what type of career I want to pursue in the future, but I love learning and trying new things. This internship accomplishes both of these goals, and it also helps me choose a future career by providing me with experience in state government and legislature.

How has the Herbert College of Agriculture prepared you for this opportunity?

I learned about the TN Legislative Internship Program through a Herbert Highlights email. I would not have heard about nor pursued the internship without the regular, informational emails from the newsletter. Additionally, I worked very closely with the advisors and faculty within the college to plan my class schedule and graduation time around my participation in the internship program.

Any faculty mentors you want to give a shoutout to?

I want to thank Dr. Robert Jacobsen for encouraging me to consider a career in law and being so supportive of this internship opportunity. I also want to thank both Dr. Jacobsen and Dr. Andrew Sherfy for their recommendation letters. Finally, I’d like to thank Janiece Pigg, Sonja Burke, and Dr. Sean Schaeffer for making this internship possible for me through course registration.

Do you have any advice for other Herbert students?

I want to encourage other students to pursue the TN Legislative Internship Program, even if they’re in a completely different major or aren’t considering political or law-related careers. This type of program teaches you how to be professional, hardworking, and how the government functions at a state level, along with providing you with professional relationships for your future.