Unfortunately, today was my last day interning at Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s office in Washington, D.C. It was an incredible experience thanks to the staffers in my office and my wonderful intern class. Living in the district has given me the opportunity to connect with alumni, family friends, and other interns in the big but small city.
Throughout my ten weeks on the Hill, I have adapted a variety of skill sets and learned numerous things about the ins and outs of our nation’s Congress. Yet the most important thing I have learned in D.C. is to make connections and make them well. I have had the opportunity to meet with many alumni in the D.C. Metro Area who have given me great advice, looked over my resume, and connected me with their coworkers. Showing up to these coffees with punctuality, asking questions, and following up is what leaves a good impression on people and can give you tremendous benefits in the future. I plan on maintaining these connections through LinkedIn and an email every few months to see how people are doing in their careers.
In a congressional office, or any office, the best way to make a difference and work towards a greater goal is to be a team player. Being a student athlete at Dickinson, I came to the internship with these skills and was able to apply them to the way in which the office worked. Some of my favorite days have been those when the interns have had a difficult task or a fast-approaching deadline, and we had to work together as a team to complete the task on time.
If I could start the internship over again, I would have worn more comfortable shoes on the day of my congressional scavenger hunt. I had blisters on the back of my feet for five weeks after that experience. But it all seriousness, I would have come in with more confidence. When you are accepted at an internship, you received that offer for a reason. Although I felt I would do an acceptable job at the internship, I came in very nervous, so my confidence, and therefore my performance, was shaky. But in reality, there was nothing to fear—everyone at my internship site was there to help me and build me up.
I highly recommend a congressional internship—I cannot believe how past these ten weeks have gone by, and I wish I could do them over again!
Thanks for reading this summer!
Obtaining an internship is never easy—rather it is a lengthy process that for me, spanned over months and consisted of numerous phone calls and emails. I began to search for summer internships in early January, where I scoped out the websites of U.S. Representatives, Senators, and governmental organizations to check the requirements and due dates of their summer intern applications.
After that process, I reached out to my personal contacts: family friends, former bosses, and Dickinson alumni who worked or had recently worked in a politically oriented career. By reaching out to these connections, I was fortunate to be asked by a handful of offices for interviews. A few weeks later, I was fortunate to receive an email that I had been accepted to work in Congresswoman Stefanik’s office.
Working on Capitol Hill has been an incredible experience and it is hard to believe I only have a couple of weeks left. So if there’s one thing you can get out of this post it’s this: use your connections. Dickinson has a great network of alumni that are always happy to help other Dickinsonians. It is those connections that form relationships, and those relationships that can create career opportunities.
Thanks for reading!
I just wrapped up the fourth week of my internship at Congresswoman Stefanik’s office and it has been an incredible experience so far.
On Capitol Hill, I have learned about the power of networking, especially when it comes to politics. In my office, I have taken time to get to know the other interns both in and outside of the workplace, and my networking skills have grown tremendously. Together with the other seven interns, we have attended conferences, sat in on hearings, and met new people through mutual friends. By these means, I have been able to connect with people who not only work on the Hill but also in other organizations in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, I have been utilizing LinkedIn and Alumni Fire and plan to get together with some alumni over the course of my internship.
Thanks for reading!
Last week, I moved into a dorm at The George Washington University which I was able to afford thanks to Dickinson’s Internship Notation Program. I have been working eight to nine hours every day so I have yet to explore the city—I am hoping to visit the monuments and experience the Smithsonian museums during my free time.
The first two weeks have been busy. In my first few days, I was welcomed by the staff and interns and sent on a scavenger hunt of the Capitol (see photos). It took me well over two hours, but I was able to find everything on the list. Since then, we have been in and out of session.
So far, I am loving my experience in DC—the Foggy Bottom Campus of GWU is a great place to live. I can’t wait to experience our nation’s capital to the fullest!