Olivia Fine '20 interned for the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand during the 2018 fall term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

This fall, I had the privilege of interning for the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Washington, D.C. Senator Gillibrand’s central office oversees a range of responsibilities from legislative duties, providing constituent services, managing press, to scheduling. As a legislative intern, the majority of my responsibilities were in the constituent services realm.

Primarily, I was trained on the history and design of the Capitol Building to give tours to constituents. In general, constituent correspondence was my main responsibility, which included answering phone calls for the office, providing assistance to the callers, and organizing mail sent to the office. In fact, ensuring effective correspondence between constituents and representatives provided me with a unique perspective into what it means to be a public servant. In addition, I focused on legislative work by attending a variety of briefings and writing memos for the appropriate staffers. I completed legislative projects ranging from drafting correspondence to creating contact lists, to analyzing issues.

Notably, I worked in the Senate during extremely significant moments in American history—the nomination and confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the 2018 election. My proximity to these events and witnessing their impact on the political system and the American people was invaluable. In other words, my proximity to political events and the political process allowed me to learn firsthand about the experiences of legislative staffers, as well as involve myself in projects and issue areas I believed in.

While public policy shapes our country, it changes shape with great resistance, and often long after the desired progress has happened culturally. All in all, interning for the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was an excellent opportunity to develop my understanding of policy-work and governmental, systematic change. This internship confirmed my professional interests in policy and law, particularly in immigration rights and climate justice. Furthermore, I hope to conduct research on how climate change impacts immigration and migrant communities. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity I had to intern in the Senate this past fall. It would not have been possible without the generous support of the Rockefeller Center and Charles F. Bass, son of Perkins Bass. In part due to this experience, I will continue studying and working in public policy, government, and law.

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.