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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ted Poe

Summer 2008 Site Review

Student: Government and Philosophy/Plan I Junior
Position:  Capital Hill Intern (Washington, D.C.)

This summer I interned on Capitol Hill with a congressman from Houston. There were numerous other interns on The Hill and although it’s a competitive internship to obtain, it’s certainly one worth pursuing. The exposure one gets to the governmental system and powerful figures in U.S. politics is unparalleled in other internships, and the networking opportunities are nothing short of abundant.

The duties of an intern include sorting mail, answering phones, constituent correspondence, and last but not least, giving Capitol Building tours. Upon arriving in DC, I underwent a week of training. This consisted of classes teaching interns the relatively new program designed by Lockheed Martin to store all the constituent correspondence data. Another class on giving Capitol tours was taken, and yet another (self-conducted) class on the layout of The Hill itself. After the first week, the learning doesn’t stop. Although you have no remaining classes, you are certainly still learning and thinking on your feet; observing your peers (both fellow interns and office staff-members) is the most valuable skill to posses for the first half of your internship. The second half should be spent trying to perfect those skills you learned in the first half.

By week 4, you are well in a system at the office: you get there, you check the schedule for tours and other scheduled events, and you sort the morning mail. This includes passing out mail to the different staff members for whom in pertains. After giving a tour, I would spend the remainder of the day serving as a Legislative Assistant’s aid. Anything that she needed I would do. She was new, and had been backed up quite a bit.

Interning on Capitol Hill is an amazing experience. I recommend it for anyone interested in meeting powerful people and making lasting friendships. It is an invaluable experience in terms of anyone pursuing Government, and can be applied to many other areas of learning as well, I’m sure. Overall, I give my summer experience an A+!

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