In three years, Dylan Bryant has climbed the ranks from freshman to leadership while working under the dome of the Missouri Capitol.
Bryant, currently a dual-legislative assistant, began his career in 2014 as an intern learning the ropes of state government after attaining his bachelor's degree in political science.
Bryant said his interest in working in the Capitol was prompted by a test proctor he encountered during finals week.
"I remember him talking to me after the test and asking me if I had ever considered doing an internship at the Capitol," Bryant said.
At that time, he said he had no idea if he was interested, but the proctor proved persistent, immediately giving him the forms to fill out and following up with an email the next day.
After reaching out to his local representative, Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, and hearing back from the internship program, the rest is history, Bryant said.
He started a five-month internship in January 2014, working under Franklin as a legislative intern. She later recommended him to the position of district liaison. As a district liaison, Bryant acquired more responsibility by having the capacity to relay concerns of constituents through research and public relations back and forth to the Capitol.
While an intern, Bryant worked part time with his family's auction business as a webmaster and marketing coordinator. This experience prepared him to complete graduate school, take on the role as a full-time legislative assistant and volunteer intern coordinator.
"A lot of people don't realize the impact state government has throughout many communities," he said. "I credit the legislative internship program as well as my parents for my success, helping me to prepare for where I am today."
Starting in January, Bryant will begin a dual-legislator assistant position that will allow him to work with state Rep. Jason Chipman, R-Steelville, who will begin his tenure as the caucus secretary, and state Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte.
As a legislative assistant for two representatives, Bryant will be responsible for tracking bills, conducting legislative research and helping his representatives maintain accessibility and visibility to 70,000 constituents.
"I think that it is important to illustrate that you don't have to plan everything in your life," he said. "You don't have to be a Rhodes scholar; you just have to be motivated."