Dickinson High, NDSU grad interns for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in Dickinson
When Dickinson High School graduate Michael Steve isn't coaching a Babe Ruth baseball team this summer, he is interning in Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's Dickinson office.
"Being able to understand how all these laws work and are made and how the cities and states cooperate with each other is kind of interesting," said Steve, a 2013 North Dakota State University graduate.
Steve graduated from Dickinson High School in 2009 and completed his college education in Fargo in four years. He plans to go into business or energy law after three more years of education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He majored in accounting at NDSU.
"It's really nice that Sen. Heitkamp has an office out here now," Steve said. "She's the first North Dakota delegate to have an office in western North Dakota. With all the activity now, it's really necessary."
The internship in Heitkamp's office provided him with an up-close look at the political process as he works with Shirley Meyer and Kay Morast.
"If I ever want to go into public service that would be great, being able to see it firsthand here," Steve said.
Steve previously worked in the Strom Center for Entrepreneurship, which was a bit different.
"That one you get to see a lot about how people are trying to use the laws to make their own businesses," Steve said. "This one is a step before that. You see how these laws are made."
Steve said he really likes getting to meet people.
"You get to go to a lot of outreach events," Steve said, "see what's going on in the community, learn about all these little organizations and what they're doing."
In addition to his duties in the senator's office, Steve has been coaching baseball all summer, often coming into the office after a morning outside with teenagers.
"It's nice to be able to teach these kids because they're at such a young age where they really absorb a lot of what you tell them," Steve said.
Steve played catcher on some Dickinson's best American Legion and high school teams in the late part of the last decade. Though he didn't go on to play baseball in college, he enjoys the chance to be involved in the sport again.
"It's fun to get back on the field," Steve said. This was his third summer as a coach.
The internship started at the end of May and ends when Steve leaves for law school on Aug. 9.
"We're not letting you go until the morning of the ninth at 2 o'clock," said Meyer, who heads up the Dickinson office, when Steve asked when his last day was. "I'm keeping you maybe."
Steve is looking forward to a new adventure in Texas, which he describes as a hotter North Dakota.
"Every time I've been down there it's a lot like North Dakota," Steve said. "Compared to some of the other states, it's just a warmer Midwestern state."
Steve's co-workers said he will be missed in North Dakota.
"Michael's been great," Morast said.
Meyer added: "He's amazing."