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

Rocky Interns in DC: Favorite Internship Moments

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Aerial view of the National Mall

Ashley Ulrich '15 - Office of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ): “One of the first things that we had to do in the DC office was to complete a scavenger hunt to learn our way around the Hill.  Scavenger hunts are usually fun, right?  The six interns split into two groups of three and were assigned a list of about 30 locations that we had to visit, with specific things to do or ask at each location.  The territory to cover: three Senate office buildings, three House buildings, and of course, the Capitol itself.  Some tasks included getting a rate quote from one of the Senate barbershops in the basement of the Senate office buildings ($30-$40 for men, depending on hair length), thanking the postal workers for their hard work, and asking one of the Senate aids how the Seantor liked his water served to him in the Senate chamber (not fussy at all - no special requests for ice or water temperature).  Although the hunt was exhausting and we had to take a long snack break for fro-yo in the Senate cafeteria, it was a great way to learn our way around!  I have to admit though, two and a half hours in, we didn't quite feel a need to stop at EVERY single N.J. Represenative's office (13 of them, split between two different buildings).  It felt great to finally kick our feet up and take the underground tram back fromt the Capitol.  We'd earned it."

Superior Court of the District of Columbia - Photo courtesy of David Wylie '15

David Wylie '15 - Superior Court of the District of Columbia: “Some of the most interesting moments at my internship were when I was able to observe in the courtroom. We tend to have a glamorized, superficial view of the judicial process because much I what we know of it is from TV portrayals of criminal court. However, the experience in an actual civil courtroom is very different and much more personal and down to earth. Not all lawyers are hotshots from Suits and many of the parties are people who are truly in tough spots. I think I became to realize how the court system has a very real impact in people's everyday lives and it is everyday people who make it run whether it be in the courtroom or behind the scene. Thus, I appreciated even more the necessity for fairness in the judicial procedures, and gave more meaning to my work in Chambers."
Amanda Wheelock '13 - Sierra Club: “One of my favorite memories was getting to go on a kayaking trip with a group of inner city students from Baltimore. Seeing the smiles on their faces made me realize that the hours I was putting in at the office were really important – getting outside can be SO beneficial, whether that's through getting healthy exercise, relieving stress, or just being able to experience America's awesome beauty!"

Interns outside of the Office of Children's Health Protection - Photo courtesy of Dan Fang '15

Dan Fang '15 - Environmental Protection Agency: “One of the most memorable parts of my internship was taking social media skills that I took for granted, but applying them in ways that completely changed the way the office approached their outreach for this year, particularly with their biggest event of the year, Children's Health Month, which takes place in October. I was surprised to find that the office had never had a Facebook page before, but after setting it up, I had a wonderful presentation at the end of my internship that allowed me to walk-through with the whole office (including the director!), the page and how its various features could be used to engage the Facebook community."
David Bessel '15 - Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: "Getting to know former Congressman Bill Frenzel '50 was perhaps the most edifying and formative aspect of my time spent in Washington D.C.  Serving as a Representative from Minnesota from 1971 to 1991, you would expect to see a man wearied and disillusioned by decades of political strife.  Instead, Mr. Frenzel maintained this sort of radiance, motivated not only by the desire to improve this country but to make everyone who he encountered feel comfortable making conversation with him.  The fact that over six decades in age separate us served as no impediment in the conversations we had or the friendship we shared."

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