ASP students have only been at their internships three weeks, but they’re already busy! Read on for reflections from four students interning at the Department of Justice, American Enterprise Institute, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
Justin Botejue, Whitworth University:
“I am a legal intern at the Department of Justice – Office of Legislative Affairs, in the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Main Building. The Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) is a very busy office where we are the bridge between the Justice Department and Congress. Part of my responsibilities include correspondence, referrals, and legal research for Members of Congress and their staffers with any requests and questions that they have. The nature of my work is classified as confidential, but I am working on projects for Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik and compiling and researching projects for the attorneys at the OLA. I cannot imagine a better internship fit than the DOJ-OLA! It’s certainly challenging ‘brain’ work that leaves me exhausted at the end of the day, but I am learning, seeing, and doing more than any expectation that I had coming in. The attorneys at the office are very helpful, kind, and supportive, and I even sit by one at church at National Presbyterian Church! It was only my third day on the job when Attorney General, Eric Holder, resigned from his position–truly, there cannot be a more interesting time to be in the office!”
“On the first day of my internship, I felt extremely out of my league. I was interning in the House of Representatives – was it real life? My Congressman (Elijah Cummings) is the Ranking Member on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and is on the Select Committee on Benghazi. Naturally, my first day was also the first day of the Benghazi hearings. My supervisor gave me a brief synopsis of my duties in the first half hour and then basically threw me in the deep end. Surprisingly, listening to people yell on the phone was not the worst part of that day. The worst part was my choice in footwear. I quickly realized heels were not optimal for my job. Not only were the floors exceptionally waxed that day, making every step slippery, but I toured all three House office buildings and Capitol which gave me huge blisters. That was the first and definitely last day of wearing heels to work (I stick with flats now). The best part of my internship thus far, however, has actually been outside of the office. I was able to attend the Congressional Black Caucus Reception where I totally felt like a VIP. I met a ton of important people, ate delicious food, danced, and got a great picture with the Congressman. I have been at my internship for about three weeks now and the novelty of the Hill has still not worn off!”
“Hi, my name is Emily Hardman and I am interning at the American Enterprise Institute. I am working in the Political Corner on polling data for AEI scholar Karlyn Bowman. So far my work has included researching polling data on American Opinion on Affirmative Action, American Opinion on births out of wedlock, and American Opinion on negotiating with terrorists for hostage ransoms. This morning I heard television journalist and former CNN correspondent Campbell Brown discuss her upcoming lawsuit with the state of New York regarding outdated teacher tenure policy. This afternoon I will be finishing up my Affirmative Action research for the department to send to a client. I am enjoying the pertinent and varied work here at AEI!”
“I am interning in the Congressional Office of Speaker of the House John Boehner. My daily duties consist of sorting constituent mail, sending and receiving flags flown over the Capitol that are requested from constituents, and giving tours of the Capitol. Along with these daily duties, I frequently get special assignments from the office aides that keep the days interesting. Working in the Speaker’s office has been thrilling, as I have gotten the chance to attend cool and important events, meet the Speaker, and spend a good amount of time in the halls of our nation’s Capitol. One cool event I got to attend, for example, was his Backyard Barbeque event! My experience thus far has been only positive and has made Capitol Hill even more attractive than I had thought possible.”
ASP internship sites are as diverse as our students’ interests! For a full list from the past seven years, please click here.