Bailey Spade ’19 is a legislative session intern at McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland Government Solutions, a lobbying firm in Spade’s hometown of Frankfort, Kentucky. The firm serves companies such as AT&T, encouraging legislators to pass bills that benefit its clients’ interests.
Centre College’s strong alumni community has been an important asset to Spade’s internship experience. Jason Bentley ’94, Sean Cutter ’93 and Sarah Osborne ‘05 work as lobbyists for MML&K and helped Spade secure his position. They have also acted as mentors for him, explaining the complexities of state government, such as the much-debated teacher’s pension bill.
The politics major’s main responsibility is to attend legislative committee meetings, in which a small group of legislators decides whether to pass bills onto the floor. At these meetings, Spade pays special attention to bills that are of interest to MML&K’s clients. He then informs the firm’s lobbyists about senators and representatives that may be willing to support them. He also sits in on the Kentucky House of Representatives when bills are being heard on the floor.
CentreTerm 2018 gave Spade the opportunity to complete his first MML&K internship, which required him to attend lobbyist-client meetings. This experience helped him gain the political knowledge necessary for his current position.
“As I’ve progressed through the internships, I see myself taking part in the conversations a little more,” he says.
Spade credits his internships with giving him a better understanding of his post-graduation career goals. In addition to lobbying, his observations of the legislature have helped him develop an interest in becoming a congressman or senator.
“Everybody knows the Schoolhouse Rock video,” he explains, “but being able to see the inner workings of the state government has been really helpful for looking into the future as a politician or a lobbyist.”
Although Spade’s internships have been critical to his understanding of state government, his Centre academic experience has been just as important to preparing him for professional success in the political realm.
“Centre has turned me into a quicker learner than I used to be,” he says. “I was able to adapt much quicker to the new information at my internship because of the way Centre demands that of you.”
Although Spade plans to attend law school, he hopes to play professional soccer for the United Soccer League before beginning his professional journey. One of many motivated student-athletes on campus, he is a goalkeeper for Centre Men’s Soccer.
“I’m not ready to be done just yet,” he concludes.
By Carbery Campbell ’18
April 23, 2018