Downtown Boise streets are filled with the hustle and bustle of a weekday morning as College of Idaho junior Trevor Thomas walks into the Idaho State Capitol at 8 a.m. Each footstep echoes off the marble floor and through the rotunda as Thomas passes a wall filled with pictures of all 32 governors of Idaho.
Dressed in a tie, dress shirt and slacks, the political economy major enters his summer abode—the office of Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, a 1967 C of I graduate. The governor walks past the fresh-faced Thomas and asks him where he goes to school. As Thomas replies “College of Idaho,” Otter slaps him on the back and says, “Atta boy.”
This past summer, Thomas interned in the governor’s office. The days were filled with interacting with constituents, either over the phone or by mail, drafting proclamations, performing research on various laws, and taking care of anything else thrown his way.
“I love being downtown and in the capitol building,” said Thomas, who plays basketball for the Yotes. “It’s always fun to walk by Gov. Otter and have him ask me how my day is going.”
When the governor’s office contacted C of I political economy professor Dr. Jasper LiCalzi for an intern recommendation, Thomas seemed like the right fit.
“This intern is someone who meets with people, answers phones and represents the governor’s office in an official capacity,” LiCalzi said. “Trevor immediately came to mind because he’s so conscientious and very mature.”
Thomas, who is considering going to law school after graduation, decided to apply for the internship. Once accepted, he focused on learning how policy forming and various agencies under the executive branch affect economics and small business owners in Idaho.
“It’s interesting because I never really realized how many different agencies, commissions and boards there are,” he said. “Working here, I’ve gotten to know all of those working parts and how they affect the general population.”
Some of the agencies Thomas toured included the Idaho State Police headquarters, an Idaho Fish and Game fish hatchery, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Idaho National Guard base at Gowen Field.
The experiences not only were informational, but also helped Thomas become familiar with working in a professional office environment.
“Trevor has been awesome to work with this summer,” said Claudia Nally, special assistant to the governor. “He’s very thorough, pays attention to detail, is very eager and I think he’s blossomed here. He’s not as quiet anymore. He’ll come and chat and is very engaged with everyone [in the office].”
Thomas took full advantage of the knowledge found in the governor’s office, whether it was chatting about which law school to go to, or making contacts and connections that could be useful in the future.
“This internship has given me a lot of connections with people,” Thomas said. “There are connections everywhere and I feel like, through this internship, I will be able to get a good job from people I’ve gotten to know. And I also have the office of the governor as a resource for when I need a reference.”
The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.