WHS Graduate Interns At The Red Hot Center Of MO Politics

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Blake Brodersen, son of Warsaw’s David and Suzie Brodersen, began working as an intern in the office of Governor Michael L. Parson on January 13. He is a 21-year-old junior, studying Political Science at North West State University in Maryville, and plans on using this experience to help prepare for a future job in government. He will be in this position until mid-May when the legislature is scheduled to adjourn.
“I have always been interested in political science and government,” said Brodersen. “As a kid I watched presidential races, but got my first exposure to how things really operate in different levels of government in middle school. My interest really started there and grew as I took courses in high school and college.” 
Brodersen’s attention was called to the possibility of becoming a legislative intern, when MO Representative Roger Reedy was elected to his first two-year term in the Legislature. Brodersen’s father had worked for Rep. Reedy when he was Benton County Assessor and Rep. Reedy made a point to mention that working for a State Representative might be the direction to go for young Blake Brodersen.
“About the same time that Blake’s eye was on a possible internship, a long-time family friend called me, telling me that she was a legislative assistant for Governor Parson,” said Suzie Brodersen. “When she said that she got the applications together each year for an intern in the Governor’s office, Blake decided to send in an application, expecting to hear back within a couple of months. Because he had waited longer than he expected to hear something from the Govenor’s office, he began to assume that he did not get selected to be an intern.” However, in the third week of September 2019, Blake was called to Jefferson City for a face-to-face interview with the legislative director and assistant director. A couple of days later he was offered the position.” 
Brodersen’s first week as an intern was eventful. He spent Monday and Tuesday helping make seating arrangements for special guests and others who were to attend the 2020 State of the State Address by Gov. Parson. On Wednesday, he attended the address and helped get people seated where they needed to be. One of the guests that he helped was from St. Louis and mentioned in the Governor’s address. He also worked with those who were physically limited.
“I watched the address and helped clean up afterwards,” said Brodersen. “Then, I let everybody else attend to the reception. I attended the reception for a short time, but it was mainly for guests and the media.”
He said that he works a five-day week, getting to the office about 8 to 8:30 AM and leaving between 4:30 and 5 PM.  He has a lunch break and either eats in the building’s cafeteria in the basement or makes his lunch. He doesn’t get paid by the state for interning, but receives a living stipend from his university.
He said that he began actively pursuing politics in college and has been able to meet people who operate in state government. He has no plans to run for public office, but said that he would not rule out that possibility. Brodersen said that he would love to get a position in state government as a liaison or lobbyist.
“My parents were good role models for me, and an incredible driving force in community and organization participation,” said Brodersen. “They work their hardest to create the best community they can and so do other people in the organizations. The best way to improve a community is to be involved. That is a big lesson in life that I have learned. People like to give their opinions and complain or complement, but when complaining they don’t see that there is an opportunity to do something about it.”
The Office of Administration administers the State of Missouri Internship Program, providing college students the value of employment with government while gaining on-the-job training that integrates education, career development and public service. It begins each year in January and continues until mid May. Interviews are conducted in the fall semester.
Brodersen will receive 12 credit hours from North West State for his internship, and is required to perform many assignments related to his position. Assignments include typing a weekly log that reflects a conscious effort to keep track of his thoughts and activities, and also to evaluate the environment in which he works. He writes an evaluation paper due at the end of the internship, has to read Home Style: House Members in Their Districts by Richard Fenno, as well as write a book review and reaction paper. At the end of the internship, his supervisor will complete an evaluation.
In addition to the duties that Brodersen has already performed, he might be assigned to analyze, follow and craft legislation as it moves through the political process, write press releases, assist constituents with problems, lead tours of the Missouri State Capitol, and more.
In addition to his parents, Brodersen’s family includes an older brother, Ben, who is a farm manager in Stockton.