Let’s start with networking… In Washington, D.C. you will simply not get anywhere without having connections, so I have found out from my experience with applying to internships. Being successful in a policy job without being a strong networker is very difficult. For the most part job nor internship opportunities are ever posted online. Even if they are posted online, the ones that end up receiving the job or internship opportunities are normally the ones that have connections to the positions. Since finding this out, I have become very proactive about speaking with new people everywhere I go. While being in D.C., I have realized the best way to network is going to social events. Passing up on a social event has yet to cross my mind because I know they are the key to a successful reference. Especially with working on the Hill, I have become more engaged with conferences and hearings. I identify the speakers working on issues I am interested and then become familiar with their preferences on the issues. Once I feel I know enough to hold a conversation I start to ask questions. Then normally we start to have a flowing conversation. Networking has become easier for me the past two weeks, the more I do it the more comfortable I feel.
Interning on Capitol Hill has become a life changing experience. Congressman Franks’ office is very personable. Working for Congress can be very nerve racking, the moment I walked into my office I began freaking out. It was like I was the new girl again in school. As soon as I met the staff members they eased my nerves because they were all extremely friendly and helpful. There was so much to learn in such a small amount of time. The responsibilities I was thrown into the very first day, were answering phone calls from constituents, answering e-mails, scheduling tours, greeting guests, and more. Answering phone calls are an easy task once you get the gist of it. The hardest part about the phones is learning how to use them correctly, I have yet to figure out how to transfer a call to a staffer’s voicemail…. LOL. I enjoy my every day duties on the Hill, I am so grateful to have the chance to be an intern and hopefully making a difference in lives.
I have learned from working on the hill for about two weeks, that you should observe and listen more than you do talk. The more you listen, the more you will pick up on hidden information. I have always been an observant person so this skill has become useful to me. Being an intern on the hill, many of the staffers and members assume you are ignorant and oblivious to these type of things. The number one rule on the hill is, “listen more and talk less”, you will eventually pick up on the language and hidden contexts.
Thank you for reading…. Stay in touch for next weeks blog!!!