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Student nabs key political post while still in college

Nashville Mayor David Briley relies on student Mason Borneman, 22, to be ready for action as he goes through each day's schedule.

Anna Moseley  | 

News - M. Borneman with Phil Bredesen US Senate Staff

Before becoming deputy scheduler for Mayor Briley, Borneman worked for the Phil Bredesen for US Senate campaign.

For most college students, staying organized means keeping track of assignment due dates and extracurricular activities, but for Lipscomb University senior law, justice and society major Mason Borneman, staying organized means making sure Nashville’s top elected official gets to committee meetings, speaking engagements and crucial governing activities on time and ready for action.

Borneman, 22, from Greenfield, Tennessee, not only juggles homework and night classes, he also juggles the logistics and day-to-day preparation for Mayor David Briley as his deputy scheduler.

At his day job, Borneman is in charge of more than preparing Briley’s daily schedule. He said a large portion of his job is spent briefing and preparing the mayor for any of the various activities he will complete that day.

Head Shot of Mason Borneman

Mason Borneman

Other job duties include: preparing weekly public schedules for to the Metro Council; processing event invitations, meeting requests, and photo requests; and corresponding with community members and leaders about those requests; and managing logistics of the mayor’s travel, transportation and lodging.

Serving as Briley’s scheduler isn’t his first experience working in politics. Borneman has been working in the political sphere since his freshman year, beginning work with the Tennessee Democratic Party, through an internship that was foundational to the professional success that followed, he said.

Through a highly competitive application process, Borneman received the distinct honor few others receive as a congressional intern for Rep. Congressman Jim Cooper, (D-TN).

“During my time interning for Congressman Cooper, I definitely honed in on better writing skills,” he said. “Having the experience of being in the House of Representatives is huge because in essence, the Capitol building, that I was able to walk into every day that summer, is the most powerful political building in the world.”

News - Congressman Cooper and Mason

After interning for Congressman Jim Cooper (left) in the summer of 2017, Cooper accepted Borneman's (right) invitation to speak at MASK Chapel.

Borneman said during his third internship experience as a legislative intern for House Minority leader Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-TN) that the representative lived out his slogan “people matter,” daily; through his passion for noticing those who are oftentimes overlooked by society.

Building on his internship experiences, Borneman became a paid professional as the deputy director of scheduling for former Governor Phil Bredesen during his 2018 campaign for the U.S. Senate. Borneman said this experience prepared him for his current job with Mayor Briley.

Throughout his career so far, Lipscomb has been building Borneman's leadership and professional skills as he has continued studying through night classes at the university.

Motivated to work in politics primarily by his passion for advocating for minority groups, especially immigrants, Borneman says his law, justice and society major has opened his eyes to the endless professional possibilities in the public sector. The law, justice and society department’s focus on making a societal impact has been one of the best aspects of the major, Borneman said.

“From the very beginning of the major I was going out into the community, establishing connections with other professionals on top of learning inside the classroom,” said Borneman. “Your network is going to end up being your net worth, and the Law, Justice and Society department made that clear from the very beginning. My career success is a product of great professors and a great program.”

Although having good grades during college is important, students should also value professional relationships and experiences, Borneman said.

He received opportunities all throughout college, to learn and grow outside of the classroom, and both Lipscomb and Nashville played a role in molding him into the professional he is now, Bornemen said.

“Coming to Nashville was such a blessing for me coming from such a small town,” he said. “Nashville really opened doors for me and welcomed me with open arms. I am excited that as I am transitioning out of Lipscomb I am getting a chance to, in a small way, be of service to residents of Nashville.”

 Learn more about The Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice and Society.