The breeze was refreshing, the coffee dark, my tie flapped to the side of my neck as I strolled down New Jersey Ave NW. Each morning was like this, the anticipation of heading to work and stepping into the systematic chaos that was the United States Government. I had the fantastic opportunity to spend just under four weeks in the Capital of this great country working with the United States House of Representatives, specifically the office of Representative Trent Franks of the 8th District of Arizona. The beauty of the Capitol mixed with the passion, speed and precision at which the Members of Congress worked invigorated me. It was as though I was a part of this great legislative system for but a short time and had a role to play in how my office worked. I quickly understood that I represented the Congressman, the Republican Party and Conservative ideals as long as I was a part of the office.
My time working on Capitol Hill was spent scurrying about underground in the corridors of the nation’s Capital and House office buildings which is quite a labyrinth indeed. My tasks included requesting signatures from other offices, dropping off flags to be flown, running lists to the cloakroom, answering phone calls and helping staffers with projects. While Congress was in session, the environment was fast-paced to say the least. I spent a significant amount of time at the front desk greeting visitors, speaking with other members of Congress while they waited for meetings and receiving loads of phone calls from constituents. I had the privilege of meeting other interns, college students just like me. They loved their country, wanted to be involved in it and passionately defended their beliefs while respectfully listening to the thoughts of others. Among all the time I spent in D.C., I had one opportunity that I shall never forget. It was just before seven o’clock in the evening, and Congress had decided to work, although the Senate was gone for August recess. I sat in the gallery with a few other staffers and interns and looked on as the 500 or so members shuffled around and debated a draft for the Immigration Bill. The ambiance was simply astonishing. I walked out as it was getting late and slowly made my way through the Capitol building with not a soul in sight save Congressmen leaving the chamber. I marveled at the statues and the rotunda just as Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Steve Scalise and others nodded at me and walked passed while in conversation.
After a long yet motivating day I would walk the grounds on the Hill as I made my way back to my hotel where I spent nights meeting and befriending Spaniards, Frenchmen, Czechs, Russians, Aussies, Brits, Italians, Brazilians, Austrians, Germans, Swedes, Danes, Koreans and a host of other vibrant young foreigners eager to talk to Americans and practice their English. I learned so much from these people. I’d almost say this was my favorite part of the whole D.C. experience. I cannot describe how much fun it was to work with the Legislature, then consequently discuss politics with those who were from the other side of the world and see their take on American government. I would advise you, my friends, to seriously consider applying for an internship with a Politician whether it is in the Phoenix area or D.C. Naturally I would press for D.C. because the experience was phenomenal. I must thank Dr. Munsil for not only instructing me the last four years as my Political Science professor, but also for advising me to apply for this internship.