This summer I interned in Washington D.C. for Senator Bennet from Colorado, with a focus on my global theme: Culture and Politics.
Interning in the Senate was an incredible, eye-opening experience. Every day I felt like I left having learned something new. For the internship, I was assigned to both Senator Bennet’s foreign policy and natural resources/ energy teams. Part of my role consisted of attending briefings and committee hearings for the team so they could then better advise the Senator. These briefings and hearings were incredible learning opportunities as they often covered complex, minute policy issues that were not covered in the news. For instance, at one of the Energy and Natural Resource committee hearings the Senators had a bipartisan discussion with panelists from across the nation about how to further reduce the potential for leaks from Liquified Natural Gas storage tanks. The briefings were particularly interesting because they featured top experts from fields ranging from cryptocurrency to food waste who gave in-depth explanations of the major policy struggles facing the U.S. in the coming years.
Although I did not expect it, I found the work I did for the foreign affairs team to be the most interesting part of the internship. Assisting Bennet’s foreign affairs team provided a whole new education on how the U.S. interacts with other nations and how foreign policy has evolved in recent years. The area I was mainly assigned to focus on was supply chains, and it was interesting to see how complex supply chains truly are and to learn about all the different considerations policymakers take into consideration when attempting to organize a supply chain. It was also interesting to see how combatting and reversing the rise of China provided a bipartisan organizing principle that seemed to underlay every foreign policy briefing and committee hearing.
Beyond the internship, living in DC alone provided an incredible learning experience. The city was more diverse in every way possible than anything I had ever experienced before and it provided an opportunity to learn about new cultures and go to events that I hadn’t been exposed to previously. For instance, on the National Mall, the Smithsonian held various cultural events, and one event featured a group of Omanis talking about the struggles of preserving their culinary traditions while living in a foreign country and urban environment.
The internship was a remarkable learning experience. It opened my eyes to a whole new world and taught me how to excel in an entirely different environment. Over the course of the internship my personal, as well as professional skills, were strengthened. I gained newfound confidence in myself and became more sure in my leadership skills.