This summer I was an Administrative Intern for Senator Grassley in his Washington D.C. office. Working in the U.S. Capital for one of the most senior influential senators was an amazing experience. I gained valuable experience developing knowledge of my theme of Culture and Politics specifically addressing the challenge of how to move beyond political polarization and gridlock. Senator Grassley prides himself as a bipartisan leader throughout his years of public service. Working on the Hill gave me insight as to how legislation is passed and its effects on not just American constituents but foreign relations as well.
Working on the Hill this summer among the brightest minds of the nation gave me valuable insight into the fast-paced culture that is required to make it in the political world and make an influential impact. I did not expect the offices to be composed of young professionals not too much older than myself. This realization gave me a newfound sense of confidence and excitement to think that one day I could be working and making an impact on a federal level. The fast-paced culture I referred to is seen as young professionals come into entry level positions and quickly either thrive or find out quickly that the Hill is not the right path for them.
In my position, I worked a lot with constituents appeasing their concerns and requests. This experience allowed me to see constituents’ reactions to legislation passed during my time there such as the PACT Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. I also had the privilege to accompany the Senator on both television and radio interviews. As the Senator is coming into an election year, the importance of the media and its portrayal of their work is emphasized as I saw senators vote in a surprising way to ensure their constituents’ approval.
Memorable accounts during my time in D.C. would include the conversations I had with Senator Grassley. He was incredibly gracious and kind as he went out of his way to get to know us interns, which is something many senators do not do. We had many conversations about Montana, which he was very fond of, having spent time on a ranch years back. He took us to breakfast and on a tour of the Senate Floor showing us incredible things such as the historic desks with names etched from previous senators in those seats.
With the support of the Franke Global Leadership Fellowship, I was able to gain leadership skills working in a political office communicating and networking with influential leaders of our country.