My Washington D.C. internship was a great learning opportunity. I was able to interact with constituents and hear their concerns first hand. I attended briefings of topics that are of high priority to the state. My interest in policy expanded; topics that had never interested me became interesting.
One of the first briefings I attended was on the damage pesticides cause farm workers, food, and the surrounding farm area. The expert witnesses provided data and information that I had never seen, it was shocking. I recalled hearing about the harm of pesticides, but I never gave it much importance. I experienced firsthand that there is much more to policy than what we hear on the news. Changing policy at the national level takes time.<
The knowledge I gained and the people I met will stay with me for life. I now feel that I'm more informed of the legislative process and know that using staff members as resources is beneficial to the purpose you are working on. I'm thankful to the Walker Institute and Weber State University for providing me the tools I needed to receive this opportunity.
"I lived in Washington, D.C. for four months where I worked as a Congressional intern for Senator Orrin Hatch on Capitol Hill. I was one of seven interns and I was also the only student from Weber State in the office. As an intern, I took on the duties of a scheduler, executive assistant, tour guide, and a representative. As interns, we had to force ourselves to be flexible and diverse because of the assorted work load that we were given. For instance, my activities ranged from writing memos for Senator Hatch, touring constituents through the United States Capitol, and sitting in on meetings in the Pentagon.
My favorite part of my internship was being immersed in an environment where I was surrounded by so many influential and accomplished people. By the end of my internship I had seen nearly every senator and significant political figure in the media. Not only did I get the opportunity to become acquainted with Senator Hatch, but I also spoke to Senator John McCain, chatted and walked with Senator Mary
Landrieu, and I even saw President Obama and Vice President Biden speak in person. In addition to this, I was fortunate enough to meet the Utah Jazz and members of the 2014 United States Olympics team when the groups stopped in to see Senator Hatch.
Those four months as an intern on Capitol Hill were certainly the best four months of my life. The experience was a priceless one: I was in the United States Capitol every day, I worked alongside extremely powerful people, and I was submerged in the most historic city in the country. Everything about my internship was tremendous.
"My internship in Washington, D.C. was incredibly rewarding and extremely important to my student experience and future career.
I was elected to be a WSUSA Student Senator, and as a leader on campus, this internship experience was invaluable. Working in our nation’s capital taught me more about the functions of our government and representation of the people, by the people, and for the people; I will be able to use this knowledge to represent my constituents as well as possible.
While living, working, and touring D.C., I was able to apply what I learned in my political science classes to my experiences. My Political Thought class with Dr. Kuehls taught me about just societies, and while working in D.C., I saw the different ideals of justice at work within Supreme Court rulings and my work with communities that receive funding through the Affordable Care Act. My Constitutional Law class with Dr. Price taught me about Supreme Court rulings throughout American history and the precedence each case sets. The class readings and discussions frequently popped into my head while touring D.C. and visiting the memorials of people like FDR and Thomas Jefferson.
I am also a Resident Assistant (RA) at University Village and my internship experience instilled the importance of teamwork, which is vital to the RA position. Living in the D.C. Weber State apartment with some really extraordinary roommates will improve my work as an RA because as a roommate team we planned activities together, shared (intern) advice, and truly supported each other through all obstacles.
My internship was incredibly applicable to my education, my service on campus, and my career. My internship in Washington, D.C. was possible thanks to the Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service, and my entire experience in D.C. was life-changing."
- India Nielsen
"The internships that I have had the opportunity to fulfill at all levels of government have increased my knowledge of the political process, given me greater confidence in participating in government, and have helped me cultivate a great appreciation of public service and leadership. Since I started attending Weber State, I have completed an internship at the local, state, and national levels.
Working with Ogden City's Community and Economic Development Department has given me a greater appreciation of the importance of being involved in politics locally, working on the state level with lobbyist Spencer Stokes has introduced me to many people that I can network with and find potential employment from after graduation, and working on the national level as an intern in Senator Mike Lee's office has helped me have a greater appreciation of my country and representative democracy.
In addition to these internships, I have also been able to intern for the
Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service. It was a wonderful experience that gave me a sense of the importance of helping other students fulfill internships and learn about the value of becoming more civically engaged."
"The internship with the Utah State Legislature was an amazing experience and truly a phenomenal 7 weeks. I not only had the privilege of working with two very dedicated legislators, but I also was blessed to meet and interact with outstanding students from across the state who are deeply passionate about public service and politics. The support staff to the legislators were wonderful to work with and they always made themselves available so that we could develop and grow as interns.
This internship afforded me the opportunity to get an insider's look into the policy realm, as well as instilling in me the value of the public service that occurs for 45 days on Capitol Hill."
- Javier Chavez