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

Rocky Interns in DC: Stories from the Hill

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"A side view of the Capitol - the fifth tallest building in DC, with a cast-iron dome that weighs close to 9 million pounds!  The bronze statue on top, Freedom, faces East so that the sun never sets on her." -Ashley Ulrich '15

Sasha Dudding '15 - Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): “I interned in the Washington D.C. office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’88 for eight weeks this summer, through Rocky’s First-Year Fellows program. I mainly helped with constituent services, which means helping to sort through and respond to incoming mail, working in the front office answering phone calls, and giving tours of the Capitol. I also got to work on some legislative tasks though, in areas such as agriculture, defense, and womens’ issues. I went to House and Senate hearings, the floor of the House and the Senate, and lots of interesting speakers in an intern lecture series. I got to see lots of fun and unexpected things in D.C., including my senator’s softball pitching skills. One night in June, we got to see Senator Gillibrand pitch in the annual congressional vs. press softball game for charity. The interns were her cheering section, with lots of colorful posters and team pride. The press, with the team name of the “bad news babes,” ended up winning the game—but Gillibrand won MVP!" 

Ashley Ulrich '15 in the DC Office of Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ)

Ashley Ulrich '15 - Office of U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ): “This summer I spent 12 weeks working for one of the U.S. Senators from N.J., Mr. Frank R. Lautenberg.  I worked for six weeks in the Senator's home office in Newark, N.J., and six weeks in his DC office.  In N.J. I helped staffers with constituent servicing, meaning I assisted with issues pertaining to veteran's affairs, home mortgages, and community outreach.  I wrote letters in reply to constituents' requests for the Senator to attend events and congratulations and citations letters for significant constituent achievements, as well as Congression inquiries, grant support letters, and longer research memorandums.  In the D.C. office I was assigned to two pairs of legislative assistants and counsels, and helped them with their work in specific policy areas - economics, taxes, and the budget as well as foreign affairs.  This included longer research reports and specificied letters to constituents in regards to their questions about foreign affairs legislation.  I also answered phones, gave Capitol tours, and ran various errands to other Congressional offices on the Hill."

Alex Rubin '15 with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)

Alexander Rubin '15 - Office of U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): “My internship was composed mostly of writing constituent letters, giving Capitol tours and attending to the daily needs of the staff. As my internship progressed, I eventually was able to work on briefing packets and memos for the Congresswoman and her fellow Congressmen, as well as draft some pieces of legislation.”

Alex Rubin '15 with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)

“These internships on Capitol Hill can be somewhat monotonous if you let them get that way. Make sure to always try and find something to do, whether that means filling your day with work in the office or attending briefings or hearings, or other events on The Hill. The main thing to remember is that once you leave the Hill you won't be able to get back in to the buildings and briefings that you can when you're an intern. It's easy to forget this and take for granted the fact that you can just walk into the Capitol whenever you want. With this in mind, take advantage of all the places your ID can get you in and explore the area.” – Alexander Rubin '15

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