So here goes round two of this blogging thing! I’ve never blogged so bare with me. Things have been much more exciting now that we are in session and I actually get to see the Senator once in awhile, he tries to stop in at intern row (desks along a wall where five of us sit) quite regularly.
Tours, Phone Calls, and Newsletters
So a little bit more about what I am doing: I took my tour test and passed, YAY! Now I can officially start giving tours, it’s great. I still have my basic intern duties such as answering phones, constituent letters and mail duty. It sounds tedious but those are actually some of my favorite things to do, well besides answering phones (some people are mean!). If you ever call to voice your opinion to a Senator, which you totally should, please be nice to the person, you are speaking with.
Like I mentioned previously, I am the tax and budget intern so I am learning a lot of new things. I create a pension newsletter each week that I LOVE to do because I will admit, I am just learning about pensions. Also, I am working with issues such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Glass-Steagall and other banking legislation. It is so interesting and I am completely falling in love with this aspect of government– it has completely changed my perspective.
One thing that I find awesome about interning is the opportunities you have to go to committee hearings such as Clinton reporting about Benghazi, the gun-control hearing and today I went to a hearing about No Child Left Behind waivers. As you can tell all of these hearings don’t fall under my intern category but you can go to whatever you want and listen to what interests you– such a great experience! I am very interested in education so I go to hearings and sit in on meetings with our Education staffer, Senator Hatch’s office is super flexible. I have been able to listen to so many awesome speakers through think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute; it makes me realize just how little I know… these people are extremely intelligent!
I love walking down hallways and seeing senators, seeing the legislation process take place. I got to go to the back balcony where the Inauguration took place as well. Going to work each day is seriously so fun, whether I’m researching bills, answering phones or going to Senator Lee’s office to eat Jell-O there is always something exciting happening! The best part about being an intern is the networking you do. I have already met some amazing people! At the Women in Sports conference I was able to attend, I met many Olympians and X-games winners. I have made some great friends and get to do a lot of fun things. For example because of some people I met, I was able to get tickets to a Wizards/Kings game and go onto the court and meet the players. It was epic! I also went to Baltimore to watch the Super Bowl, which was probably the biggest party of the year. I also do the typical sightseeing like Arlington Cemetery with other interns. I have met so many other interns and employees working on and off the hill. The people you meet is worth the internship alone.
Simone Shumway is a Fellow at the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service and is a Southern Utah University student interning on the United States Senate.