Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

×
Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

×

Can a fellowship really benefit me?

Mishal A.
Mishal A.

I worked as a Legal Fellow with the Elections Division the summer after my 1L year. This opportunity exposed me to things you just cannot get in a classroom, from sitting in on meetings, to assignments dealing with current and pending legislation, and even the ability to work on research I was truly passionate about. This has been an immensely rewarding experience which allowed me to learn all that goes into preparing for an election.

This position is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in administrative law, elections, or the political process.

Savanna G.
Savanna G.

Working in the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office has been a very rewarding experience for both my substantive legal knowledge and my practical understanding of what it’s like to practice law on a day-to-day basis. The fellowship program has strengthened my understanding of the ins and outs of elections and administrative law while simultaneously giving me exposure to a variety of legal professionals with varying technical knowledge, all of whom offered constructive feedback on my work.

The program really seeks to ensure that fellows are given meaningful tasks – for example, I had the opportunity to research recall elections across varying states, complete a final project on the National Popular Vote plan, and update informational materials for the public based on new legislation. I would recommend this fellowship to anyone interested in public sector work.

OliviaM.jpg
Olivia M.

My experience as a legal intern with the Elections Division in the Secretary of State’s Office was an extraordinary professional experience. This experience has enhanced my ability to understand election law changes in Colorado and Nationally. I further developed my writing skills focusing on the power of unambiguous and meticulous communication. My work required a high degree of technical interpretation of legal statutes and the careful translation of those statutes into user friendly communications.

Additionally, this office was a space of collegiality and professional development. When I first started my internship I expressed an interest in learning the nuts and bolts of election law. Thus, my projects were tailored to ensure that I understood the complexities of the election law and also encouraged me to dig deeper into those areas that were of specific interest. I came into this experience hoping to broaden my understanding of election law and I came away with so much more. This would be a valuable internship for any law student who is looking to expand their knowledge in administrative law and the work of a government agency.

BradleyK.jpg
Bradley K.

As a Legal Fellow with the Elections Division, I had the opportunity to develop my understanding of election law and administrative procedure, while strengthening my legal research and writing skills. Specifically, I became familiar with the regulatory structure of Colorado's elections by drafting numerous memoranda relating to many aspects of state election law. These projects offered unique opportunities to research and analyze election law and administrative law, at both the federal and state level. The lawyers and staff at the Elections Division were collaborative, respectful, and offered quality feedback on my work product. I recommend this position to a law student interested in election law, administrative law, or regulatory law. The position would also be beneficial to a law student interested in exploring the public sector more generally.

DavidV.jpg
David V.

For summer after 1L year in law school I worked as a policy intern with the Administration Division. This has been a great position for a law student after 1L year because it was a mixture of the right amount of work, beneficial networking, and a unique glimpse into working at a government agency. This summer I have participated in drafting legislation, saw oral arguments at the Colorado Supreme Court, sat-in on a number of hearings and depositions, and helped the attorneys on interesting projects. I never once felt overburdened and the work was never monotonous. This position is very insightful for anyone interested in working in the government sector.

Connor B.
Connor B.

I spent roughly three months working at the Elections Division during my last semester of law school. I knew nothing about election law prior to working here, but I came away from the fellowship with a comprehensive understanding of Colorado election law and how the Colorado Department of State is involved in the election process.

As a fellow in the Elections Division, I had the pleasure of working with great lawyers and people. The lawyers in the Election Division were always willing to help me out on any project I was working on, and they gave me great practical advice on how to be a good lawyer. Some projects I worked on included creating a presentation on the lawsuits filed against the Secretary of State, and writing a memo on Propositions 107 and 108. These projects were very fun to work on and helped improve my writing and researching skills.

If you are interested in a future career working for the government or an administrative agency, and want to make connections with lawyers who work in those areas, this is a great place to work.

Jason C.
Jason C.

The internship experience in Secretary of State’s Business and Licensing Division was very valuable. During the summer internship, I learned that real world data was much more complex than I could have ever imagined. It was a fantastic and exciting experience knowing that I could apply the knowledge I learned in college to the real world data. Some outcomes corresponded to my predictions while others did not. It was an amazing experience when I predicted things correctly. At the same time, it was also exciting when I found out the reasons for my wrong predictions. During this process, I learned a lot of new mathematical and statistical methods to process data.

The people in the Secretary of State’s Office were really kind and helpful. Everyone wanted to help you - especially the supervisor who was very generous and warmhearted. He not only provided help on my project, he gave me suggestions for my future career. I learned a lot from him. He also gave me a lot of advice on my presentation. I felt much more confident than I had before. Overall, the internship was worthwhile, and I really enjoyed the experience.

Julia S.
Julia S.

Working in the communications department with Lynn Bartels was an incredible opportunity. I cannot say enough great things about my experience at the Secretary of State’s office. I was fortunate enough to write for the SOS’s official blog on multiple occasions. I learned so much throughout my time here and am so grateful for Lynn’s guidance. My time was never wasted, and I never felt underappreciated. I feel much more confident going into my last semester of undergrad with the experience I have gained through the Secretary of State’s office.

Meaghan F.
Meaghan F.

This externship was an overall great placement. The best suited candidate for this placement would have a strong background and working knowledge of election law, campaign finance and constitutional law. The diversity of assignments was one of the strongest assets to this placement. Assignments included writing legal memoranda, transcribing testimony, in-depth legal research, and speech writing just to name a few. Additionally, my supervisor did a fabulous job of letting me sit-in and accompany her to numerous legislative hearings and meetings. I enjoyed this placement and think it will give an extern a good impression of work in the government sector.

JJH
J.J. H.

My experience with the Secretary of State’s Office was amazing. I was given real and meaningful tasks, and when complete I received outstanding feedback. I had the pleasure of learning about how different states implement voter registration and comply with federal law. The process is complex. There are a variety of nuances that I still do not understand, but I was given the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment. They trusted me with a difficult task, and gave me amazing feedback when I was done. My legal writing has improved more over the last few months than my entire time in law school.

I also learned by watching. The attorneys here are top notch. If you sit and listen to them while they work you can get a real sense of how the law develops. I had the opportunity to observe title board hearings. Title board deals with voter proposed initiatives that may be voted on in the upcoming election. Watching the board formulate ballot language taught me how write with brevity.

I am still not sure where my career is heading, but I know I feel more confident in my abilities as a lawyer because of my time here.

Laurel W.
Laurel W.

The Elections Division of the Colorado Secretary of State brought me on as a fellow during my second year of law school. Upon entering the program, my desire was to see if the public sector suited me for work after law school. Not only did I learn that public sector work suited my interests and personality, I also discovered an interest in Election Law and in general regulatory administration. During my time with the Elections Division, I worked on substantive projects such as researching and writing about military and overseas voting. The projects I received were hands-on, interesting, and worthwhile. The staff gave excellent feedback. My supervisors and other employees in the office supported me well in my projects, and in learning about Election law. I recommend interning at the Secretary of State’s Office as a place to learn about election law or public sector work in a dynamic work environment. I found the work at the Secretary of State’s Office incredibly rewarding, and a great step in my career.

Nino J.
Nino J.

I spent one month at the Elections Division of the Colorado Department of State as a professional fellow. The Professional Fellows Program (PFP) is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the State Department, organized by American Councils, and brings every year professionals from all over the world to the United States.

My fellowship at the Elections Division was a very interesting and rewarding experience. I learned a lot about Electoral System in the United States and how Colorado conducts elections. I had the chance to observe local Elections in Denver, and have been very impressed by sophisticated methods of voting and ballot tabulation. I also followed different trainings that deepened my knowledge of Colorado’s electoral system.

The main subject of my research was Military and Overseas Voting. Coming from the country where about 20% of the population lives abroad, introduction of distance voting will be an important step to overcome the progressing disenfranchisement of these citizens. Being a lawyer at the NGO working mainly on the election monitoring and on the improvement of the election environment in Georgia, I believe I can take an example of Colorado’s experience, to successfully use the knowledge acquired during my fellowship, and to support the introduction of distance voting system in my country.

Katie P.
Katie P.

As an undergraduate sophomore, I was originally looking for a chance to learn more about data analytics and data visualization. I was placed on the Business and Licensing Division's Organizational Support Team as a fellow. I worked closely with this team and numerous program managers to redesign daily dashboards that give a general overview of each of the several programs. The fellowship was definitely a hands-on experience. I did not just learn about data, but also about how to conduct interviews, identify needs, and work with several divisions in the office simultaneously in a dynamic work environment. The Secretary of State's Office is always evolving, and is constantly taking on a wide variety of new projects.

I always had all the guidance and support that I needed, while still being able to be self-motivated and to make the projects my own. I had full reign over the dashboard project that I worked on, and I was able to take my own ideas to make mock-ups, get feedback, and see the project through in its entirety. I know that my work will continue to benefit the office long after my fellowship ended. The work you do as a fellow is much more than busy work, it is real working experience.

Juwon H.
Juwon H.

My experience as a fellow with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has been challenging and rewarding. I started my fellowship the summer before my last semester in graduate school. I was brought into the Business and Licensing Division to be the lead analyst on an Activity Based Costing (ABC) project. I knew little to nothing about ABC when I was offered the fellowship, but I was willing and eager to learn about it.

I used this internship to get academic credit at school, so I had to do a research project on ABC before I started the fellowship. Completing this project before the start of the fellowship allowed me to be prepared to start working on the model when I arrived in the office. The insight and feedback that I received from the staff was more valuable than I could have ever anticipated. Everyone I met was truly concerned with my professional growth and development.

At this point, I am unsure if I will ever work in the public sector, but I am sure that the knowledge and experience I gained as a fellow will help me throughout my career.

Tural A.
Tural A.

I joined the Secretary’s office in the Elections Division through "Fellows cohort of Professional Fellows Program (PFP)," sponsored by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. My goal was to learn more about the best practices of the US election system, and take the knowledge, information, and experience back to Azerbaijan.

I have gained extensive election observation experience over the years. I was trained to be an international election observer at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. I have been a Short Term Observer (STO) during the 2007 Parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan, on behalf of the OSCE and part of the Long Term Observer (LTO) mission of the International Republican Institute (IRI) to Pakistan, tasked with observing the January 2008 elections. I also worked as a senior legal analyst at the OSCE Election Observation Mission (EOM) for Presidential Elections in Azerbaijan in 2008.

While I had firsthand election experience before joining the fellowship, working for the Secretary’s office was a completely different and unique experience. I had the chance to learn from colleagues on a day-to-day basis, observe the election processes in different counties of Colorado, and learn about new elections technologies. Now, I clearly understand that our region is further behind in the contemporary election process; there is a lot of room for improvement.

I truly appreciate the rewarding opportunity that Secretary’s office gave me. The valuable experience I gained during the fellowship will definitely make me more successful in my efforts to see my country getting a praiseworthy place among the nations.

John S.
John S.

My fellowship experience with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has been truly rewarding. After being accepted into the fellowship program, I was placed in the Elections Division, where I worked primarily on issues of election law. During my fellowship, I worked with a tremendous group of attorneys, all willing to guide me through assigned projects.

My time at the Secretary of State’s Office has been wonderful, and a truly great professional experience. I worked on a wide range of topics, and provided research on many high-level issues such as the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and on local issues such as county elections. Working at the Secretary of State Office has furthered my desire to work in election law after graduation, and has given me valued experience in the field.

I highly recommend the Colorado Secretary of State Fellowship Program to anyone who is interested in election law and public policy. The experience I have gained will help me throughout my professional career, and the connections will last a lifetime.

Erin M.
Erin M.

Being a fellow at the Colorado Secretary of State hugely impacted me personally and professionally as I redirected my legal career from corporate practice to public service. In just a few months, I gained valuable insight into state and local government, including aiding in legislative drafting, statutory analysis and researching niche issues. It was a pleasure working with the experienced staff that not only took the time to answer my questions but also provided valuable opportunities for engagement in projects. Through this fellowship, I felt that I truly contributed to the Business and Licensing Division. The contacts and experience I gained as a fellow at the Colorado Secretary of State will no doubt have a lasting impact on my future legal career and lead to further opportunities. For example, my experience at the Colorado Secretary of State encouraged me to pursue positions in state government service, including the position I accepted in January of 2012 with the Office of the Attorney General. I strongly recommend this fellowship program to law students and attorney candidates interested in public service.

Tyler G.
Tyler G.

This fellowship has had a massive influence on my career path and my passion for public service work. I worked with the lovely people in the Elections Division, and gained more experience in a few months there than I did in some law classes.

I started in the division my spring semester of my second year in law school. I had previously been involved with elections of all kinds, from primary races for a Senate position to running undergraduate student elections. My work for the Elections Division made me learn so much more about the process. I worked on everything from notice-and-comment rulemaking, to legal research and memo writing, to updating a campaign finance handbook. Because of the variety of work, I was never bored and everyone in the office made a concerted effort to make sure I understood any complexities or confusing legalities.

While I do not know exactly where my career is heading, I now know that it will be somewhere within the public sector and preferably election law, as I have learned so much and loved my time working for the Elections Division.

Kristi J.
Kristi J.

Being a fellow at the Secretary of State’s Office in the Elections Division was a wonderful experience! I was able to learn valuable information and skills in public administration as it relates to the proper management of election activities. In addition, I participated in various election training activities, witnessed first hand how mail ballot elections operate on election day at the state and county level, and had the amazing opportunity to observe the rulemaking function of the office.

The people I had the pleasure to work with were very knowledgeable and care deeply about the work they do every day. After the past few months, I believe I have a better understanding of what it means to serve the public interest in a helpful and positive way.

This fellowship has increased my desire to continue a career in public service. Moreover, it supplied me with the necessary real world experience needed to succeed in the future. If you are someone who is interested in learning more about public service and election administration, then this is the fellowship for you.

Ben S.
Ben S.

I began a fellowship in the Elections Division during the summer after my second year of law school. Before beginning law school, I was involved in elections on the campaign side, and always maintained an interest in the elections process. I jumped at the opportunity to work as a fellow in the Elections Division, because I wanted to understand the nuts-and-bolts of elections, rather than just the political stuff I had been previously exposed to. The fellowship turned out to be a great experience, so much so that I applied for a job in the Elections Division as soon as I graduated from law school.

My fellowship with the Elections Division was great primarily for two reasons. First, the work was interesting and substantive; and second, the people I was working with cared about making my time in the Division beneficial for me. A good example of what I mean by “substantive work” involves the Secretary of State’s administrative rulemaking function. I came in to the Division just as they had begun drafting new state election rules, which were needed to comply with a U.S. Court of Appeals decision. I was able to participate in pretty much all phases of the rulemaking process, from researching, to reviewing proposed language, to seeing the new rules adopted and implemented. It was a great learning experience, and I felt like I was actually contributing. It was clear from this assignment and others that my supervisor had taken the time to consider what would make my experience beneficial; not all fellowships are like that. I was very fortunate for my opportunity to work as a fellow in the Elections Division, and for the career path that it paved.

Robert D.

After nearly three months working at the Colorado Department of State (CDOS) office, I felt like I had acquired some valuable, real-world experience in the IT field. After settling in and acclimating to the rhythm of the CDOS work process, I felt like I was able to truly apply what I’d learned during my time studying for my Bachelor’s in IT and direct it into real, meaningful results. The coworkers I had were all incredibly sociable, friendly, and excellent teachers, never giving objectives that were too vague or overcomplicated. I always felt like I contributed to the CDOS team and was never underappreciated or given meaningless work to do. Of the work I did, much of it was alternating between investigative research for the Cyber Security Divisions and a healthy variety of IT Helpdesk work. Interacting with the CDOS staff to help them resolve important issues, and working directly with bare-metal hardware provided a treasured learning experience seldom given in traditional Computer Science classes.

If you’re looking to get a foot in the door in the IT field, I can’t recommend a Colorado Department of State IT position highly enough.

Charles E.

I spent three months with the Elections Division of the Colorado Department of State as a Research and Data Analysis Fellow. The main subject of my research was Military and Overseas Voting. The work was substantive and the staff was very friendly and willing to answer my questions. Overall, it was a great experience.

Throughout the fellowship I gained valuable data analysis skills and learned some great tricks on how to leverage Microsoft Excel in order to present my work better. I was also given great advice on how to tailor my writing for government white papers. Even though the subject matter will likely change, having had the opportunity to sharpen these skills will be vital for my future career goals.

Naomi S.

I came into this fellowship with little background of what the Secretary of State’s office does, and was quickly introduced to the many endeavors of this office. I worked with the Deputy Directory of Business and Licensing, and he was a great support during my time at the office. He was accommodating of my schedule and eager to help me with my projects and personal endeavors I had, including a policy analysis for class. It was fortuitous timing that I took a Public Policy graduate class that summer, and gained a better understanding of how the office works with current policies, and provided me with real world application of what I was learning in class. I gained valuable experience here and it reaffirmed my desire to work in public service. My fellowship focused on six projects, which kept me busy the whole summer. I absolutely recommend this fellowship to anyone pursuing a career in the public sector.

Trevor J.

Working in the lobbyist program of the Business and Licensing Division gave me perspective on the relationship between state-level program managers and the lobbyists themselves. During my time in the Secretary of State's Office, I was also able to edit and produce policy documents. Shadowing different individuals at the State Capitol was particularly insightful. I will carry the networking and skills used at this fellowship to future endeavors in Colorado.

David K.

My fellowship with the Secretary of State’s Elections Division was very rewarding. As a law student, I wasn’t quite sure what roles attorneys played in the office. I also admit my knowledge of state election laws was sorely lacking. After I started, I learned quite a lot about elections in a short amount of time. I also met several talented and helpful attorneys as well as other members of the staff who truly serve an important role for the citizens of Colorado.

During my fellowship, I worked on or observed several important projects. I was able to observe election and campaign finance rulemaking made necessary by recent court decisions. I was able to help research election law trends in other states as well as recent changes in campaign finance laws here in Colorado.

When I wanted to learn more about what else the Secretary of State’s office does, I was able to do so without any trouble at all. For example, I helped the Business and Licensing Division with research on notary public laws. I was also able to meet with staff in the Charities and Fundraisers Division and the Lobbyist Division.

After my time in the Secretary of State’s office, I learned that the office provides many valuable services to the citizens of Colorado. I also learned that attorneys can fill many roles in state government and are not limited to litigation. I would highly recommend a fellowship with the Secretary of State’s office for anyone even remotely interested in elections, voting, or campaign finance.

Julie S.

I had a chance to be a fellow at the Secretary of State’s office during a very exciting time. The General Assembly had just done a serious update to the Colorado election code and it was up to the Secretary of State to implement it. During the summer I was a fellow, the Election Division was updating all of the rules and regulations to fit with the new election laws. Because I have been extremely interested in all aspects of elections I found this fellowship to be an excellent way to learn more about Colorado elections. The fellowship also gave me insight into what it is like to work for an administrative office.

Being a fellow at the Secretary of State’s office gave me a chance to use the legal interpretation skills I learned in law school. Specifically, it gave me the opportunity to see the practical application of what I learned in election law. Additionally, the fellowship allowed me to work with a dedicated group of lawyers who helped me learn about Colorado election law in a substantive way. I enjoyed my time at the Secretary of State and would recommend the fellowship to anyone who is interested election law.

Jill M.

I immensely enjoyed my time working as an intern in the Elections Division. I started interning after my first year of law school because I was looking for experience in legislative affairs and public policy. The Elections department had several interesting projects for me; I researched federal and state election laws, edited materials with legislative bill provisions, and attended committee meetings regarding new election procedures.

I not only gained familiarity with the rulemaking process, but was also able to see some of the day-to-day issues the office handles. The staff was very friendly, and there was always someone for me to ask questions. I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in gaining more insight into election law and procedure.

John R.

Being a fellow in the Elections Division was a great experience. I learned a lot and got to work with an amazing group of people. I worked on a variety of projects, including research on the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED), and the National Mail Voter Registration Form, as well as work in many of the major areas of the division, including Voting Systems and the Americans with Disabilities Act. This fellowship has taught me a lot about what I’m looking for in a career in addition to giving me valuable work experience and connections that will last a lifetime. I would recommend this fellowship for anyone that has an interest in learning about elections. It was an experience I won’t soon forget.

Stacie E.

Being a Fellow at the Secretary of State's office was a fantastic experience. I worked in the Elections Division with a wonderful group of individuals. Working there during an election year was really eye opening and educational. I did not know very much about election law before I started my fellowship, but I was able to learn quickly, and a lot, over the course of the semester! The people I worked with were always available to help if I didn't understand something. They were also able to consistently give me projects that were interesting and helpful for them. I absolutely adored working there and I loved the work that I did. It was always interesting and never boring!

Jeff M.

My internship with the Elections Division was an excellent and worthwhile experience. It offered me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in elections through the various projects I was assigned and the research associated with those projects. It also gave me my first practical experience in election administration by allowing me to observe election practices in several counties across Colorado and network with individuals in those counties. The internship experience was extremely beneficial in my job search and resulted in my hiring by the Adams County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, where I work as the Elections Warehouse Operations Coordinator. In this role I oversee the county’s voting equipment and election supplies, conduct ADA surveys of polling places, and supervise ballot box couriers. My success in this position would not be possible without the knowledge and experience I gained as an intern for the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office.

James R.

Working for the Secretary of State’s Office has been a very rewarding experience. As a fellow, I was given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and have firsthand experience with both the legislative and rulemaking processes. It was really an honor to see parts of my work incorporated into the final rules. In addition to daily research and writing, fellows are given the opportunity to meet with some of the most influential members of the legal and business community and attend various board meetings. As the practice of administrative law grows, working for an administrative agency and experiencing it behind the scenes has really been invaluable.

Erica C.

Having a fellowship in Human Resources has been a valuable learning experience for me. It has been great to see how HR is implemented in real organizations, and I have learned a lot about how the public sector operates. I believe that this opportunity will help me in my future pursuits, and I have been exposed to many different aspects of the HR process, including: training, selection, lean business process improvement, HR filing systems, and other areas. I feel that I have gained an understanding of important HR practices, and have had opportunities to participate in the process.

This fellowship has reinforced my choice of pursuing a career in HR, and the people I have worked with have been very supportive and knowledgeable about different areas of the field. HR in the public sector operates a little differently than in the private sector, and it has been great to learn about both and try to implement best practices in the Department of State. The knowledge that I have gained in this fellowship will continue to be an asset moving forward in my HR career.