Michael Nix: My Path into Atlanta Politics
In the fall of 2013, Honors College Founding Dean Larry Berman and Jessalyn Murphy approached me with the opportunity to be the first student from Georgia State to apply for an internship with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson. I interviewed for and accepted a position as a constituent services intern in his Atlanta office during the spring semester of 2014. During my time there, I learned a lot about the ins and outs of the Senate, as well as Senator Isakson’s role in Congress. The most beneficial part of this internship were the people I met and connections I made. During my time there, I was also working and taking a full-load of classes, and volunteering with now US Senator David Perdue’s campaign. As the summer drew to a close, I began to look for an internship closer to Georgia State’s campus (since Senator Perdue’s campaign headquarters were in Buckhead).
I was able to find an opportunity for an internship with Governor Nathan Deal’s campaign. It was a whirlwind, I interviewed on a Monday and began the very next day as an intern with the campaign’s political director. During this internship I made thousands of campaign signs, attended events, and reviewed our opponents’ financial disclosures. On election night at the College Football Hall of Fame, our team saw Governor Deal beat our opponents with nearly 53% of the vote.
I then began my next internship in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs in January of 2015. In this position, I worked for the governor’s liaison to the Georgia House of Representatives. I attended dozens of committee meetings, watched the proceedings in the House, reviewed bills, and even had the opportunity to present a bill to the governor for his approval and signature. Once the legislative session ended in early April, I moved to the Chief of Staff’s office and worked there for roughly two months. Once I left the Chief of Staff’s office, I worked in the Chief Operating Officer’s office for a month and finished out the summer as an intern in Constituent Services. In mid-August, I was asked to expand my role in the office and am now working with the Director of Executive Appointments.
All of my past internship and volunteer experiences have helped me get to my current position, and the Honors College played a crucial role in my success. I am truly grateful for Georgia State and the Honors College for their role in helping me make a path into and through Georgia politics and government.