Meet Rania Elbasiony, one of UW Tacoma’s seniors and legislative intern extraordinaire in the Washington State House of Representatives. We caught up with her and asked us to answer some Internship program as a “really great hands-on approach to learning about our state’s legislative process”. A professor’s recommendation brought her to the internship program which is fitting as the draw of “small class sizes…and greater access to…build closer relationships with both my professors and fellow students” was what brought her to UW Tacoma. Rania describes loving the close-to-home downtown campus here as well as the quality education that with a much more affordable tuition.
A Law & Policy major with a minor in Business Administration, Rania has taken advantage of the urban-serving campus and its many opportunities. “I think that being a law and policy major has really helped me gain a basic understanding of how our legal system works, which will benefit me when I look for jobs in the legal field as well as when I attend law school in the future.” In addition to the interning at the State Legislature, Rania has interned with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office. She has also worked directly with the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma Neighborhood Councils in the Fieldwork in Law and Policy class taught by her favorite professor, Lucas McMillan. When asked how she picked her favorite, Rania said, “I’ve had several great professors during my time here, but he manages to be my favorite because no professor of mine has been able to match his level of optimism. He comes into the classroom with a positive attitude and knows how to get his students engaged. Additionally, you can tell that he truly cares about his students learning and always goes above and beyond for his students when they need his help. Not to mention, he is very knowledgeable in his field.”
When asked about what classes she drew most on for success in her internships she credits the Intro to American Legal System and Intro to American Politics for helping her come “to the job with that foundational knowledge of how state government works, which helped ease my transition into a new environment. My field work class and internship at the Pierce County Prosecutor’s office also helped me because it allowed me to strengthen my interpersonal and networking skills.”
On that note, Rania’s suggestion for others who might want to follow a path similar to hers is “volunteering and getting involved with different student groups and organizations. It’s a great way to start networking and meeting people who could potentially lead you to future employment. Additionally, volunteering is a great way to see if the career you are currently interested in is a good fit for you. Also, if you have room to do so, take classes you are interested in even if it doesn’t relate to your major. Last but not least, in the midst of the chaos that school can be, don’t forget to take care of yourself because your mental and physical well-being is important.”