JJC Transfer Student Spotlight: Kayla Sorensen Finds Passion Through Legislative Internship

Joliet resident Kayla Sorensen didn’t know what she wanted to study in college, but she did know that she needed a part-time job. Just as she was about to start classes at Joliet Junior College, she logged onto the school’s website to look for work.

Kayla Sorensen, pictured with State Sen. Pat McGuire.

It was there she found College Central, a resource for students looking for employment provided by the school’s Career Services Center.

A few days later, Sorensen got a call from the last person she expected – a representative from the office of Illinois Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet. They’d seen her information on College Central, and asked if she’d like to interview for an internship.

“I couldn’t believe it – I was so surprised that they were calling!” Sorensen said. “I only had my profile up there for a few days, so it was kind of neat. And then, after the interview, I was offered the job!”

Sorensen hadn’t even been looking for an internship, and being a fresh high school graduate, she didn’t know what to expect.

To the senator’s office, Sorensen was the perfect candidate. They were looking for a local, enthusiastic student who they could teach and mold for future employment.

“I was a freshman college student and didn’t have much to my resume yet, but I felt I was well prepared for my interview and had done some research beforehand,” Sorensen added.

As an intern, Sorensen gained more responsibility than she had ever had before, and learned how important it was to pay close attention to detail.

Kayla Sorensen pictured with State Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr.

Her duties included answering phone calls for the senator, sorting through mail, coordinating schedules, and eventually attending events on behalf of Sen. McGuire. As her experience grew, she began to work for Illinois State Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr., and Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant as well.

This experience working at the legislative offices is what led her to take business and political science electives at JJC. As the semesters rolled by, these classes began to complement her internship, and before long, she knew what she wanted to study.

Two years later, she’s now a transfer student at Northern Illinois University pursuing business, human resource management, and political science.

Sorensen said her dream job would be working as a district director in a legislative office, or working at the federal government level.

“JJC gave me a better understanding of what I want to do with my career and gave me time to focus on what career path was best for me,” she said. “JJC prepared me for NIU academically the most. I know my study habits and how to handle college level work so it was a very easy transition. JJC is so much more affordable, and it gave me college experience while still being able to handle my job, among other things. I absolutely love being at Northern now, but I am glad I spent two years at JJC.”

For more information about Career Services and to get an internship while a student at JJC, visit their website at www.jjc.edu/info/careers.

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