Notes From the Field: Casey Hunter '19

Casey Hunter '19 interned with the Military and Veterans Affairs Department for the New York City Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand during the 2018 Summer Term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This past summer, I worked in the Military and Veterans Affairs Department for the New York City Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. I created and maintained in depth individual case files for over three hundred constituents, drafted letters to federal agencies and constituents on behalf of the Senator, became fluent in the Intranet Quorum system, and worked directly with the Director of Constituent Affairs to support the department in handling state wide constituent services including the Department of Veterans Affairs, all five branches of the Military, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the United States Postal Service. Additionally, I managed a high volume of incoming calls to the Senator’s NYC office by providing constituents with up-to-date information on the Senator’s policy positions, sorted all incoming mail to the appropriate departments, and conducted research on Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference with the United States 2016 election as well as their possible collusion with the Trump administration.

Over the course of my internship, I had the privilege of listening to seven different individuals share their stories with myself and my fellow interns, detailing how they got to the job they currently hold. These discussions ranged from lawyers, to Senator Gillibrand’s State Director, to Senator Gillibrand’s Campaign Manager. These conversations were crucial in helping me better understand what exactly it is that I want to do after I graduate Dartmouth. While I still don’t know for certain what my path will be, I know that I want to continue working in politics and eventually head to law school. Whether or not I actually want to be a practicing lawyer, I’m not sure – but, this uncertainty is something that I learned is more than okay, thanks to the individuals who came and spoke to us.

My experience working at the Senator’s office has reinforced both my approach to academic work at Dartmouth and my future career plans. I know that working on the Hill and going to law school won’t be easy, which is why I need to continue to push myself here at Dartmouth and stay connected to as many people as possible. It takes emotional stability and perseverance to stay in and succeed in politics, so I also know that I’ll need to have a steady circle of people around me who I can turn to for support. Because of the grant from the Rockefeller Center, I could live in New York City and devote all my time to the internship, rather than spending 3 hours each day commuting. I want to thank the Rockefeller Center, because this internship is one that will stay with me forever and one that has deeply influenced my goals and aspirations for the future.

The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.