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ABAC Student Spends Summer Internship in Washington D.C.

September 1, 2016

Bethany Langston planted a political seed for the future this summer when she interned in the office of Representative Austin Scott in Washington D.C. as a part of her Rural Studies major at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“My father always told me that if you have a voice then you need to use it,” Langston said. “I wanted to see what goes on behind closed doors, and I needed to see who the instrumental players are within our government.”

Langston’s first opportunity to work with Representative Scott, who is from Tifton, came in 2015 when she interned in his Tifton office for a semester.  That internship was extended for another semester before she was offered the internship in Washington, D.C.

“I dropped some subtle hints that I was interested in the position,” Langston said.  “And they picked up on it.  I still had to submit a resume and do an interview by phone to be considered for the internship, but after that I was selected.”

Langston, the daughter of Chris and Tammy Langston, has always been interested in politics.  She plans to receive her ABAC bachelor’s degree in rural studies with an emphasis in politics and modern culture on May 11, 2017.  She got some real world experience in that area this summer when her intern duties included assisting in receptions, organizing the calendar, attending briefings, and doing research.

“When someone would come in for a meeting with Congressman Scott, it was also my job to give them Georgia-specific products,” Langston said.  “So anyone who came in received peanuts and a Coke.  We also had intern challenges. The interns would get clues that led us to other state offices where we traded Georgia products for their state products or we would just have to find various places inside the Capitol.  We only had two hours to complete each challenge.”

And the most interesting place that came from the challenges?

“The maintenance room in the basement of the Capitol that has an old marble bathtub from the mid-1800s,” Langston said with a smile.  “I actually took a picture in the tub.”

Housing was provided for all the interns working at the Capitol in the form of apartments located on Capitol Hill right behind the U.S. Supreme Court.  When Langston wasn’t working she got to take in the sights.

“I visited all the monuments, traveled to Virginia and saw Mount Vernon, went to the American University law school orientation, and of course, rode the Metro and spent a lot of time at Union Station,” said Langston.  “When it would rain there was a train that you could take under the city that dropped me off almost at my doorstep.”

Langston’s road to ABAC was a unique one.  The Tift County High School graduate was offered a $40,000 scholarship to Mercer University when she completed high school but turned it down because she would still have had to pay $10,000 in additional costs.

“Although Mercer was my dream school, the cost was just too much,” Langston said.  “The affordability of the college, along with the fact that my family is here and I was already employed in Tifton made ABAC the right choice for me.  The faculty and staff are so impressive.  They band together to help students every day.  There is a deeper community involvement at ABAC.”

Langston has served as vice president of the ABAC Rural Studies Club and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.  She is a former member of the College Republicans and is looking to re-join the group.

Upon her graduation next May, Langston plans to travel to Europe with her best friend, Brittany Shaul, a politics major at the University of Central Florida, before they both make the big move to the Washington, D.C. area.

“I have made a lot of connections in D.C. and have had offers for paid internships after graduation,” Langston said.  “My main goal starting out in D.C. is to work on political campaigns.”

Her ultimate goal is a little bigger than long hours spent in a campaign office.

“Ultimately, I would love to work in the public policy arena or the communication sector,” Langston said.  “My dream is to serve as Speaker of the House.”
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