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!