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

Notes from the Field: Alex Frye ’17

16X Notes from the Field

Alex Frye '17 interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman '78 in Washington D.C. during the 2016 Summer Term.

16X Notes from the Field

Alex Frye interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman '78 in Washington D.C. during the 2016 Summer Term.

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Alex Frye interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman '78 in Washington D.C. during the 2016 Summer Term. The following is a brief recap of his experience in his own words.

Several constituent services that I helped with included giving tours of the Capitol building, answering phone calls, sorting mail, and assisting with casework. I also helped set up and assist with our weekly constituent coffees where constituents could come into the office for breakfast and to talk with Senator Portman in person. In helping the communications staff, I composed news article summaries that were sent out to the office first thing each morning. I also researched different quotes and statistics regarding the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, which Senator Portman has been supporting for years and was finally passed in the summer. In addition, I transcribed speeches from the Senator. To assist other staffers, I drafted letters to be sent to constituents and wrote memos on hearings.

In working so closely with such a great staff, I learned about their positions and what it takes to be offered a job on Capitol Hill. Many of them started out as interns and came back to work as staff assistants or whatever position was open. From there, strong work ethic and timing leads to legislative positions with more responsibility. Spending the summer as an intern put me on the right track toward a job in a legislative office. It also yielded great connections in making that happen. Most importantly, the internship showed me that this line of work is very rewarding and exciting.

One positive part of my internship was the people I met. There were nine other interns working in the office. They were impressive and helpful individuals who helped make the experience. We worked together well as a group and formed great friendships. The full-time staff was also remarkably friendly and willing to lend a hand.

Another great aspect of the internship was the degree of unpredictability that came with the position. Coming into each day, interns could be asked to complete any number of tasks. Days were not always the same and we never knew what we would be doing or who we would be meeting any given day. I truly enjoyed the experience and felt that the work the office did was special.

The Management & Leadership Development Program was helpful in preparing me for my internship. The program covered how to communicate with coworkers and superiors, and I found this to be useful while I composed emails and spoke with staffers. The program also taught general leadership tips that came in handy when our group of interns needed some direction. The McSpadden Public Affairs Fund from the Rockefeller Center is the reason I was able to complete my internship and I am so thankful to have had this incredible opportunity.

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