The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Charlotte Blatt '18

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The Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand '88 (D-NY) serves the people of New York by representing their voices in the US Senate and performing constituent service. This summer, I worked as a press intern based in the senator's communications office in Washington DC. The regional offices throughout New York focus on casework Senator Gillibrand’s constituents while the Washington DC office, focuses on forwarding the Senator’s legislative and political agenda, as well as facilitating interactions between the Senator and the press. The Washington DC office provides some services for constituents as well, such as giving tours of the Capitol and answering correspondence sent to the Senator.

Charlotte Blatt '18 with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand '88.

As a press intern, I loved listening to Senator Gillibrand’s communications staff discuss what they were working on. They are all incredibly smart and interesting people, and I think that listening to them talk out their ideas for the Senator’s interactions with the press, public events, and overall communications strategy was the most educational part of my internship. 
One of the most significant things I learned during my internship was how to conduct myself as a young professional in an important government office. This includes knowing when to ask questions, when to listen versus when to talk, how to speak on the phone, and how to dress, among many other skills. Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon believes that experiential learning is a vital component of a Dartmouth education, and now I understand why. These are not skills one learns in a college classroom, and can only be truly understood in a professional environment. These skills will be relevant for the rest of my life as an adult working in government. It’s hard to get more significant than that!
-Written by Charlotte Blatt '18

This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy. 

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