Fairmont grad interns for Sen. Klobuchar
Molly Hawkins, a 2017 graduate of Fairmont High School, served as an intern for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar this summer.
Hawkins, a junior at the University of Minnesota, worked in the senator’s Minneapolis office. She is double-majoring in political science and history.
“I’m considering an Arabic minor,” she noted.
Hawkins is a year into the foreign language and will study abroad in Morocco this fall. She leaves next week.
“It seemed challenging and interesting to me. I heard it would be difficult but I gave it a shot and I love it,” Hawkins said of Arabic.
While Hawkins is not required to have an internship for her major, the stint with Klobuchar’s office is something she wanted to do.
“I think internships are important in terms of figuring out what you like and don’t like,” she said. “You get a lot of experience. Political science is about making connections with people in the field and I knew Amy Klobuchar’s office would be a really good start.”
Hawkins had to apply for the internship. This included sending in a resume, cover letter and writing sample. She was then invited for an interview before being was selected. She began at the beginning of June.
Hawkins was required to be in the office at least 20 hours per week so she would spend about three days per week in Minneapolis. The rest of the time she spent in Fairmont, where she helped manage the Aquatic Park.
There were eight interns in the Minneapolis office, from different universities around the country. One of Hawkins’ favorite parts of the internship was hearing where the other interns were from and what interests them.
There was a separate set of interns in Klobuchar’s Washington, D.C., office.
“They did some different things than us,” Hawkins explained. “I worked at her bipartisan office, which means we helped all constituents in Minnesota. We didn’t necessarily work on legislative issues, that’s what the D.C. interns do.”
Hawkins mainly assisted constituents in Minnesota who had issues with federal agencies. These included matters such as dealing with the VA, immigration, the IRS, trouble with passports or federal loans.
“They came into our office or called us and we assisted them by sending inquiries to different agencies,” said Hawkins, adding that another favorite part of the internship was learning all the ways they were able to help people.
“I also got paired with particular members of staff in the office to do work with them so I worked with a few outreach directors in the office. I mainly worked with the regional director of southern Minnesota, Chuck Ackman. He deals with issues related to agriculture, broadband, disaster relief … things that pertain to our area,” Hawkins said.
She assisted him with writing letters on behalf of Klobuchar.
“I ended up going to a few events on behalf of Sen. Klobuchar’s office. That was one thing I didn’t expect I would get to do,” said Hawkins, explaining that because Klobuchar is running for president, she has not been in the state as much, so her staff members attend more events on her behalf.
Hawkins said she has been interested in politics for a long time.
“My parents (Steve and Heather) have always paid attention and I think I started getting interested when I discovered a lot of my skill sets and things I’m interested in aligned with the field. I enjoy public speaking, advocating, leading, history … I put it all together and it led me in that direction,” she said.
Hawkins worked as a campaign intern for Dan Feehan last summer as he was running for Congress. In addition, she has interned at Edman & Edman Law Firm in Fairmont.
She has had various leadership and volunteer experiences during college.
While Hawkins is not sure what’s in the future for her, she is open to a wide range of possibilities.
“I would like to look into different things,” she said. “You can take political science so many different directions so I think it’s important to try new things before I need to decide career-wise what I want to do. Now that I’ve worked in a Senate office, I think I want to try something different. I’m very open minded.
“I’m considering a lot of different options, including some schooling beyond undergrad. I’m also passionate about human rights work, so I might pursue that.”