Myriam Pacheco Arredondo was settling in during the first week of her summer internship. The Lewis-Clark State College senior, who grew up in Caldwell, Idaho, was busy organizing her cubicle when her boss walked in and introduced himself.
“Hi, you’re new. What’s your name?” her boss asked.
You can’t blame Myriam for being a bit intimidated as she tried to make a good first impression. Especially considering her boss was Idaho Gov. Brad Little and the encounter was in the Idaho State Capitol Building in Boise.
“After that introduction, we mainly talked about what I was studying, where I went to school, and what I wanted to do with my major,” Myriam said. “I actually got the opportunity to go to a couple of events with him and some staff members.”
Myriam served as an intern for three months this summer in the governor’s office. She described her duties as mainly constituent-related work as well as helping the governor’s staff with any projects.
“I would create a Constituent Contact Report, which is basically a report of the hot topics constituents are writing about,” she said. “I would then send that to the staffer in charge of Constituent Services to review.”
She said she would also work on any projects as needed, such as writing invitation letters for events and updating contacts for the office.
“I think the most challenging part of the internship was trying to figure out what staff member did what,” Myriam said. “The governor’s staff all have knowledge on various policies, and it was challenging to keep track of it all. Some staff members had knowledge of up to 10 or so policies. The most rewarding part of the internship was getting the opportunity to be a part of the office and to get an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes. It was such a great experience.”
Myriam said she has had several such great experience while attending LC State. She is scheduled to graduate next spring with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in paralegal and a minor in Spanish. After she graduates, she plans to work as a paralegal for a law firm in the Caldwell/Boise area for about a year while applying to law school.
“I would love to become an immigration lawyer,” she said. “It is something I have always thought about and wanted to do. However, after taking classes in my program, family law and real estate law also interest me.”
Myriam came to LC State in the fall of 2017 after graduating from Caldwell High. She said she was planning to attend another Idaho institution but after visiting that campus a few times, she said she didn’t feel it was the right fit.
“I needed something smaller but still away from home so I decided LC,” she said. “It has the perfect classroom sizes, professors who know me, the campus is beautiful, and everyone is friendly.
“My experience at LC has been the best,” Myriam continued. “I remember when I first started I was so nervous to get involved in different clubs. After my first semester I decided to be a tour guide. Then, I got a job at the Admission’s Office. After that, I became a peer mentor. Now, I am a tutor at the Spanish Language Lab and work at the SUB Info Desk. So far, it has been the best experience ever.”
Myriam has been involved in the LC State Peer Mentor Program for four years. Peer mentors help new students navigate their first year at the college, working closely to help them connect to the LC State community and achieve their educational goals.
“I got involved with this because my peer mentor in my freshman year was the absolute best and I wanted to give that experience to incoming freshmen,” Myriam said. “What I like best about peer mentoring is knowing I helped students figure out how college works and where to find all the resources that are on campus.”
Myriam said she really enjoys the paralegal program at LC State and is thankful for Natalie Holman, an assistant professor and Myriam’s advisor.
“My favorite thing about attending LC is being able to make friends that are in my program and having an instructor that has been in our shoes and understands us,” Myriam said. “Not a lot of people know, but LC has the most affordable and best paralegal program in the state of Idaho. Natalie, our advisor/professor, does such a good job at teaching the material so that everyone in the class knows it.”
It was Holman who helped Myriam find her summer internship. Last spring, the two met to talk about fall classes and a summer internship. Holman found the announcement about the internship in the governor’s office, but the application was due the next day.
“I sped walked everywhere asking for letters of recommendations and updating my resume and cover letter,” Myriam said. “I sent it in and a few weeks later I got an email asking for an interview, and then I got the internship. Natalie helped so much in the process, and I will forever be grateful that she found that amazing opportunity for me.”
Myriam said she’s thankful to LC State for all the opportunities it gave her.
“LC is a great school,” she said. “I know it may sound biased but it really is. If I would’ve gone to another school, I don’t think my professors would even know me by name and here at LC they do. Campus is small, beautiful and affordable, and everyone is so friendly. All administrators, staff, and even students will make sure you know where you are going and will answer all your questions. There are also many outdoor activities to do here.”
Is there any advice she would offer future LC State students?
“Don’t be afraid to do something that is out of your comfort zone,” she said. “I did that throughout my college years and it has made my college experience and my work experience even better. It has also taught me a lot about myself. So take that opportunity to learn more about yourself as a student, as a person, and as a leader.”