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

Notes from the Field: Eric Thorpe '18

Article Type 
Student Intern: Eric Thorpe '18

Internship Organization: 
Office of Congresswoman Mimi Walters (CA-45)

How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch?
The Washington DC office advises Congresswoman Mimi Walters on the policy positions that she votes on and helps manages her relationships with constituents, both through email/letter correspondence and tour booking.

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization?
My major role is helping manage the tour system for our office - we receive many visitors to the Capitol relative to other legislators' offices, so we always have to be diligent about processing these requests in a timely manner. I also aid our legislative correspondent in sorting our mail into categories.

How did you feel on the first day of your internship?
I got into the office right as the Trade Promotional Authority bill was about to be voted on in the House of Representatives, so before I was even allowed to start picking up the phones I had to familiarize myself with not only the specifics of the bill, but the nuances of Congresswoman Walters's position to be explain to constituents why she would be voting in a specific way.

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
I would say that being on Capitol Hill during this summer has been the most rewarding part of my internship. I have had the opportunity to be around so many people passionate about policy and politics, and it has been an unforgettable experience to witness the legislative process firsthand.

What challenges have you faced so far?
Learning the demands of a 8:30am-6:00pm schedule was a challenge for the first couple of weeks. I adapted to it by really trying and having a consistent routine when I went home to make sure that I wouldn't feel exhausted at the end of each day.

Broadly speaking, what do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
I hope to achieve a more holistic view of how politics and the legislative process works.

What have been some practical lessons you've learned in the day-to-day life of your internship?
I have learned about how useful it is to prepare meals ahead, whether to bring with you to work or to eat when you get home tired at the end of a workday.

 

 

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