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Betsy Wells - 2/2/2015

Writing press releases, handling media requests, facilitating interviews, tracking legislation and monitoring media for six senators – it’s just another day at the office for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) graduate, Jenn Thomas. As an intern in the Indiana State Senate Majority Press Secretary office in Indianapolis, Thomas works alongside a press secretary to handle all communications for the six senators on their caseload.

“The experience I am getting and the relationships I am making will serve me for the rest of my life,” states Thomas. “The Senate has taught me professional etiquette rules that are well received no matter what area of work you find yourself in. You can learn a lot from other people's stories and experiences so it teaches you to be a sponge and soak up as much information as possible.”

Thomas, of Fishers, Ind., graduated in December 2014 from SMWC with a bachelor’s degree in English and a creative writing minor. She immediately began her internship at the Indiana Senate, which will last through April 2015.

“This internship is providing me with practical, hands-on experience as well as amazing networking opportunities,” states Thomas. “Our state senators are wonderful people, and it has been eye opening to see how our public officials strive to represent and serve their constituents. My fellow interns are great as well. It really is special to get to work with so many young, bright, like-minded individuals.”

As a legacy student at SMWC, Thomas is proud of the strong connection she has to the College. Her mother, Catherine Schueth Thomas, is a 1988 graduate of The Woods.

“I am humbled and grateful for my deep connection to The Woods. They instilled several great qualities into my mother that she then incorporated into my childhood,” states Thomas. “Our state has several strong female leaders that recognize the value and importance of smart, ambitious women, and I would not be the young lady I am if it weren't for my roots at The Woods.”

Thomas explains how she recognizes the value of an education from a women’s college. Her advice to her fellow Woodsies and future women leaders?

"Get out there and get involved. We are the future of this state and believe it or not, politics are everywhere,” states Thomas. “Don't wait until you feel like you're perfect or you know it all. Take a risk and learn as much as you can along the way. As Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.’"

As for her bright future, Thomas says she currently sees two different paths in front of her. Between pursuing law school and a career in communications, Thomas is still weighing her options.

“God has a great plan for me; I'm just not quite sure what it is yet,” states Thomas.