Lau gains business skills from Schatz internship


Photo by Courtesy of Mikayla Lau

Senior Mikayla Lau was one of the few selected Hawai’i seniors for “Schatz Seniors,” an internship with U. S. Senator Brian Schatz in the 2014-15 school year.

Senior Mikayla Lau completed an online internship with United States Senator Brian Schatz from November 2014 to April 2015 as part of the Schatz Seniors program.

This program is for selected seniors who are involved in their community through jobs, activities, and responsibilities. The program also looks for people who demonstrate leadership qualities.

“We had online meetings, were given assignments, and met people who work for [Senator] Schatz,” Lau said.

Interns were assigned duties such as researching issues on their various islands, and they interacted with one another to find way to resolve them.

“I enjoyed this because I was able to collaborate with the other internee on Maui,” Lau said “… [We] had to plan out how [and] what topics would be held at the town hall meeting.”

They also had to figure out ways to involve youth in the community.

Lau found out about the internship through Ms. Priscilla Mikell, who posted it on the daily bulletin.

“I didn’t actually think I would get it,” Lau said, “but I said to myself ‘What do I got to lose? Only an opportunity.'”

The application for Schatz Seniors is on his official US Senator Schatz website. After receiving the applications, the Office of Senator Schatz conducted interviews on the phone with each applicant. Each applicant was then mailed a letter of non-acceptance or invitation.

The only time Lau had to miss school to go to O’ahu was for a closing ceremony on April 10, which was held at Sen. Schatz’s office.

“I wanted to know about politics,” Lau said, “and thought I would gain some skills [from the internship].”

Now days away from graduating from high school, Lau plans on majoring in business at University at Hawai’i Maui College.