There is never a dull day on Capitol Hill. As the Senate GOP rolled out its healthcare plan, known as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”, the halls of congress were buzzing with protests. Most were against the bill, although a small few were in favor. In dramatic fashion, concerned citizens gathered in front of Majority Leader Sen McConnell’s office in the Russell Senate Building to make their voices heard. They blocked the hallway with about 25 wheelchaired protesters who were worried about losing medicare coverage under the Republican bill. Since Senator McConnell’s office is a floor below mine, I needed to see the action up close.
One of the best parts of working on Capitol Hill is being witness to some outrageous events, and some that could end up shaping history. Hearings before various committees have the potential to change the political winds in DC, and across the country, through testimonies such as former FBI director James Comey’s. I was also right down the hall when intelligence officials testified that the Russian government was involved in meddling in the US election process.
So far this internship could not be more ideal for where I want to be professionally. And of course, I have Dickinson to thank for not only providing the funds so I can live and eat, but also the professional development atmosphere that has been fostered inside and outside the classroom. The professors in the International Studies department, which is my major, go to the extra effort of making sure their lectures provoke critical thinking that us students take with us to the real world. Outside the classroom, Dickinson’s alumni network is lively and effective, and it is thanks to a recent alumnus that I received an offer for this internship. So it is safe to say I would not be here if it was not for the connections I made through Dickinson’s network.
Working in the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee is the ideal platform for my personal job search. Not only is Capitol Hill the Mecca of American politics, but working in a committee that is focused on helping businesses succeed in America means I also have exposure to the private sector. Moving forward, many career paths have been opened up, which is also due to the fact that I have taken every opportunity possible to meet new people, some just starting out in their careers, and others who are quite experienced. I am extremely lucky to be on track to fulfill my summer goals of opening up career options, some new ones as well that I was not aware of, and meeting career professionals. My main interest of US foreign policy still persists as my north star for my career ahead.
While I have been very focused on my daily work, a breath of fresh air outside of work is a must for anyone working full time. There is so much to do in DC, from free museums to spacious arboretums. Each neighborhood of DC has a unique style for the most part, whether it’s the structure of the buildings or the choices of foods from around the world. If anyone says they are bored in DC, they are not to be trusted!
So far my summer has been very rewarding, and I am excited for what next week has in store. In politics, as in life, everything can change in a moment’s notice!