Interning for State Senator Barnes: Experiencing New Jersey Politics

Read all about our Secretary Emily Varga’s experience interning for Senator Peter J. Barnes III!

By: Emily Varga

As a journalism and politics double major I have learned so much relating to both of my fields of study while interning for Senator Peter J. Barnes III who represents the 18th legislative district in New Jersey. I intern once a week at the Senator’s office and I have traveled to the State House in Trenton, New Jersey twice.


Senator Peter J. Barnes III

While at the State House, I watched a public safety committee meeting as well as the Democratic Senate caucus. I also got to watch the voting session from the Senate floor on the day that the new Democratic budget was proposed. I even got to see Presidential Candidate Gov. Chris Christie while in the State House!

Senator Barnes and his staff have given me many opportunities throughout my internship. So far, I have drafted my own piece of legislation to propose to the senator, while helping to give my own personal opinion on bills he sponsors, and other projects he works on. I have learned an enormous amount about politics including the way that laws are created and the duties of public figures. But I have also learned a lot from a journalistic standpoint such as how subjects are reported on and how they translate to the press. Although many students do not wish to intern because of the fact that they are often unpaid, this experience has been extremely rewarding. I have made many connections and have met many people, and it is something I will never take for granted.


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