Experience as a Capitol Hill Legislative Intern

By: Hallie Lauder

Experience as a Capitol Hill Legislative Intern

During the Fall 2023 semester, I interned on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Intern in the office of a United States Senator. Some of my daily responsibilities included sorting mail, speaking with constituents on the phone and logging their concerns, meeting guests in the front office, providing Capitol tours, and working with Senate staffers. This internship has equipped me with a series of critical skillsets including a tremendous sense of responsibility as well as excellent time management and multi-tasking skills. Often, I must juggle completing multiple tasks at once for several different staff teams, many of which I regularly complete while simultaneously answering office phone calls. Furthermore, I have learned how to collaborate with others, de-escalate uncomfortable situations over the phone, and remain calm in the face of assignments that must sometimes be completed within a very short time frame. These skills have proven essential in my courses this semester when it came to collaborative assignments with classmates, and I know that these skills will serve me well with my future endeavors.

This internship has proven to be an invaluable experience and one that has been incredibly helpful to me as a Global Affairs graduate student. One significant component of my job as an intern was working closely with the Senator’s various policy teams and providing them with comprehensive support. The Senator that I worked for is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and has a particularly vested interest in foreign affairs just as I do. Consequently, I have worked closely with his Foreign Policy team and often completed tasks for them such as writing biographies on foreign officials who the Senator will be meeting, greeting and speaking with members of foreign embassies that the team will be meeting with, and writing short memos on the topics that were discussed in Senate committee hearings or briefings that I attended when staff were unable to. Working with the Foreign Policy team enabled me to stay up to date on global issues and gave me the opportunity to learn about new matters in other parts of the world that are not broadly discussed in academia or on the news. One example includes the recently released discussion draft on the AGOA Renewal Act of 2023 that would extend and enhance the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA,) which is the cornerstone of the United States’ economic relationship with sub-Saharan Africa.