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Alum Rises Working for Republican Senator

Two short years after graduating, one alum has already kickstarted his career

Mark+Wagner+works+for+Senator+Deb+Fischer
Mark Wagner works for Senator Deb Fischer

Mark Wagner works for Senator Deb Fischer

Photo by Mark Wagner

Photo by Mark Wagner

Mark Wagner works for Senator Deb Fischer

Gracie Killgore, Staff Reporter

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While submitting his application to work for Senator Deb Fischer, Mark Wagner had no idea what the future could hold. He had no inkling that a recommendation from a friend could launch him into a new career to possibly eventually work for the government in our nation’s capital.

Mark, commonly known as “Nick” during high school, graduated from Skutt Catholic in 2016. His younger sister, Grace, is currently a junior at the school. Today, Mark Wagner is a sophomore enrolled at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) majoring in mechanical engineering. While working to achieve this degree, he also participates in The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and Mock Trial. On top of these time consuming activities, Wagner works for Republican Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer.

Fischer was first elected Senator in 2013, and Wagner has been working for Fischer for the past five months. Throughout these months, Wagner has answered hundreds of phone calls and helped citizens find information regarding Fischer or the government.

“Mostly I answer the phone and work with the mail, depending on the day. I also work with constituent cases. Senators do a lot of different stuff with social security problems or if somebody has problems with the DA (district attorney). They can go to the senator and try to fight for their case,” Wagner said.

“On a busy bill season like when we had the recent tax bill, I think I answered 200 phone calls in four hours. If it’s not [a busy bill season] like right now, it’s more working on the computer, moving files around, helping set up the cases for the people who work full time for the senator or looking up different information for people who call in,” Wagner said.

Photo by Mark Wagner
Mark Wagner works for Republican Senator Deb Fischer

Wagner was interested in the political landscape and decided to apply for this opportunity partially due to the persuasion of a friend, Eric Kros, also the son of Skutt Catholic Government teacher, Mrs. Ruth Kros. Eric had worked for Fischer as an intern over the summer, with his older brother now working for Fischer full time in Washington D.C., and this encouraged Wagner to apply for this position.

Wagner also does a lot of work for the DA and social security offices to help veterans receive benefits or assist people in receiving the correct amount of social security.

The Veterans’ History Project is a project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress that helps keep the direct and personal stories and accounts of war from war veterans alive to pass on to future generations. Wagner participated in this event while working with Senator Fischer. “It’s a 30 minute video interview where you ask them about their experiences in the war and different parts of the war that they were involved in, how it affected them, how it affected their family, and different parts of their life,” said Wagner.

While working for Fischer, Wagner has learned many things about Congress aside from simply voting on bills. “There’s lot more that they do; she [Fischer] is involved with multiple committees where they begin the bills, try to write bills or they interview different people who are in some sort of trouble with the government,” said Wagner.

Wagner knows it’s never too early to get involved in the political landscape. He believes that volunteering at political campaigns is a great way to start if interested in government. Wagner also offers some advice to students interested in a career involving politics. “Look different people up to apply; there are a lot of opportunities to work for someone’s campaign, especially in high school,” said Wagner.

“I know every two years the house district in Omaha is up for re-election, and then every six years the Senate positions are up for re-election,” Wagner continued. “They rely a lot on people who just are regular people; they can be high school students or college students to help campaign for them and help work for events as volunteers, so that’s an easy way to get involved.”

Wagner hopes to continue to work for Senator Fischer and possibly work full time. He would like to work in Washington D.C. over the summer in the Russell Senate building and the capital. “That won’t be talked about until later. However, I’ve worked there so long, they initially talked to me about it a couple weeks ago, and if that continues to progress, I could get a job right out of college with Senator Fischer,” said Wagner.

While Wagner has only worked for Senator Fischer for five months, his knowledge and skills continue to grow. Although he is only a sophomore in college, Wagner is on his way to potentially representing the state of Nebraska in Washington D.C.

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Gracie Killgore

Gracie joined The Flightline in January of 2018. She is a junior this year, involved in tennis, HOSA and FBLA . Outside of school, she enjoys online shopping, hanging out with friends and watching Netflix. You can email her at [email protected]

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