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

Notes from the Field: Rebecca Brownell '18

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Rebecca Brownell '18 interns with the Washington, D.C. Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the Summer 2017 term.

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Rebecca Brownell '18 interned with the Washington, D.C. Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for the Summer 2017 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to intern in the Washington, D.C. Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York. I gained experience working in legislation, constituent affairs, the daily operations of a senatorial office, as well as developing relationships with Hill staffers and Dartmouth alumni in the capitol.

Becoming well-informed in American politics and working on behalf of the senator was certainly a satisfying way of putting my academic work as a Government major into practice. The past few months with a new administration’s legislative agenda also created a controversial and chaotic D.C. environment, which ultimately provided me a particularly exciting and busy office atmosphere in which to work.

During my internship, my work primarily consisted of constituent correspondence, attending committee hearings, writing memos and reports, and working on research projects assigned by staffers. I really enjoyed making a concentrated effort in reaching out to the office staffers, particularly those working in the academic fields I am interested in, such as homeland security or international relations.

Throughout the course of the summer, I would often ask staffers to “take a lap” around the Russell senate office building or grab coffee in order to have one-on-one time to seek career advice, ask questions, and build professional relationships. These were incredibly invaluable experiences that helped me narrow my focus on research projects, gain professional insight, and well-acquaint myself with the office staff.

I immensely enjoyed my summer senate internship and I am looking forward to returning to Dartmouth this fall with newfound political knowledge and experiences to bring into the academic world. Career-wise, this internship has also reaffirmed my desire to work in politics and legislation after graduation. Overall, I am beyond grateful to have had such an incredible experience and am deeply thankful for the Rockefeller Center for their help in making it possible.  

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