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

Class of 2021 First-Year Fellow: Maddie Sach

FYF Maddie Sach

As a First-Year Fellow, Maddie Sach ’21 interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand under the mentorship of Kirsten Gillibrand ’88.

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As a First-Year Fellow, Maddie Sach ’21 interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand under the mentorship of Kirsten Gillibrand ’88. The following in an excerpt from her final report.

This summer, I interned in the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who represents the constituents of New York State through constituent services, casework, and legislation. Essentially, the Senator works to translate the views of her constituents into policy by sitting on committees and helping to draft bills that she hopes will become law. She also works with other senators in a bipartisan approach to tackle problems that face the nation as a whole.

Most of my responsibilities involved constituent services; I gave tours of the Capitol, answered phone calls, and handled the Senator’s correspondence. As a public servant working within a public building, the Senator offers tours to her constituents. I was fortunate enough to become the designated tour intern, leading most of the tours the office scheduled. I conducted tours for VIP guests of the Senator, including her college roommates and other friends of her family. I was very grateful for this unique opportunity as I received considerable face time with the Senator and had the chance to network with some interesting Dartmouth alumni. As such, I was a frequent visitor to the Senate Dining Room: a lavish, ornately decorated lunching spot where Senators invite their guests to dine. I was able to encounter many senators close up and take in the exciting atmosphere. I also worked in the front office. This included checking in staffers’ meetings, running letters for signatures, and answering constituent phone calls. Amid the public uproar surrounding the separation of immigrant children from their families at the border and the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, there were many days when the phones rang continuously. Finally, I helped with the Senator’s correspondence. This included sorting, dating, and organizing physical mail, and attaching response letters to digital correspondence. While most of the internship was focused on constituent services, I was also able to explore areas of policy that interested me while working on the Hill. This included writing memos and bill summaries for legislative staffers.

I plan to stay in touch with those I met in Senator Gillibrand’s office and strengthen those relationships. My experience on the Hill has given me a much better feel for what I want to do professionally. I have become very interested in political messaging and campaigns. I am now considering pursuing a career in political consulting, campaigns, or maybe in an Administration. While I have taken previous courses on the law-making process, I now better understand the complex intersection between interest groups, law makers, and the public; I plan on applying my new knowledge to enrich my studies at Dartmouth. I would like to thank the Rockefeller Center for all their work in making this fellowship possible.

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