First off…let me say: it is a real honor to have received this internship. Not only are you spending the summer in one of our country’s most prestigious cities, but you have beat out so many others for this spot! Be proud and honored…you deserve it.
My story in one paragraph…
I went to DC summer before my junior year. I was lucky enough to make it past the intense two hour question round and was selected to work in then Senator Obama’s office in 713 Hart. It was amazing to be there the summer before an election, but even more so that I was actually in the office of Obama.
I worked directly with his Health Policy Advisor on several key issues. I went to many roundtables, briefings, and even two hearings on behalf of Obama. I also had the privilege to write a press release for CNN.com…pretty amazing! The days were long; the work was hard sometimes, but definitely a life changing experience.
Another really neat experience was the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. Last summer was the 18th anniversary of the ADA and I was able to meet and mingle with some of the biggest figures responsible for equal rights. I met the people that created special education…very cool!
Advice for you…
This is only a small sample of what I did the summer of my internship. There are only endless possibilities so I want to just list a few tips if you will that I wished I had had at the beginning of the summer:
· Do the Metro training offered on the first day
· See at least five museums (Spy is my favorite)
· Get business cards, even simple ones – give them to everyone you meet
· Tour the city on the weekends…get lost in a new neighborhood and explore it
· Try to forge a real and genuine relationship with David, Andy, and Rayna (They’re a big deal)
· Complain right away if the housing is a problem, after awhile it can be too much to handle, address it upfront
· Go to Fudruckers and order a Black n Blue burger
· Follow up when you meet people, send them a brief email and thank them for their advice, ask them a question so they’re replying and make a relationship – they come in handy down the line…just ask Andy where I was during the inauguration thanks to AAPD
· Ask for substantive work – some of my fellow interns said they just sat back and waited for work to come and it never did…I was always busy because I made it clear I wanted real work. I wasn’t rude, but I completed things early and would simply email office staff asking if they needed help with anything…one day the policy advisor noticed me and kind of put me under her wing
· Ask questions if you don’t get something and stand your ground if you think your being pushed over by your office…if you get nervous ask David
· Take advantage of the brown bags or events…this is once in a lifetime! Take the plunge!
Feel free to contact me via the blog if you any questions about me or my experience!
Kevin Fritz, 2008 Congressional Intern
Have fun…be safe…live it up!