Cooper intern

Smyrna High School graduate Karen Hernandez (left) worked as a summer intern for Rep. Jim Cooper.

Karen Hernandez spent six weeks this summer as an intern in Rep. Jim Cooper’s Washington.

Hernandez is a graduate of Smyrna High School and currently a senior at Trevecca University majoring in social work.

The internship consisted of meeting with staffers, lobbyists, taking notes at briefs and hearings, sending emails and practicing public speaking.

“It was very challenging,” Hernandez said. “We had to do a lot of critical thinking and putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.”

According to Trevecca social work field director Elizabeth Nunley, students in Trevecca's social work program gain skills such as conducting research, writing, team building and practicing effective communication.

“For my experience, being a social work student really helped me,” Hernandez said. “I was a little ahead of my peers in the internship because I'm a senior and I had already done a lot of my practice for the social work program.”

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