CCPA Summer Series 2018: Senator Chuck Shumer’s Office

CCPA Summer Series 2018: Senator Chuck Shumer’s Office

By Eitan Geller-Montague This summer I’ve been working as a Legislative Intern for Senator Schumer in his DC office. The internship has been an incredible experience that I will look back fondly upon. Being on the Hill thrusts you into the center of the political world and as someone who loves politics, it’s an ideal place for me to be for a summer. One component of the internship is handling constituent relations. In Schumer’s office, this mostly takes the form of answering phone calls from constituents. I’ve actually found answering calls to be more interesting than I expected. It requires you to be up to date with current events and the Senator’s positions on them. Every once in a while you’ll get an angry caller, but much of the time they are quite nice. Interns also lead tours of the Capitol for constituents, which requires us to have a strong handle on the history of Congress and how it operates today. Interns also have the opportunity to attend hearings and work with legislative staff. Since I’m most interested in foreign policy, I’ve focused on attending Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings. One particularly exciting hearing I attended was the hearing with Secretary of State Pompeo where senators grilled him over North Korea and Russia. During the course of the hearing I’ll take notes, and after the hearing concludes I’ll write a summary memo to send to a foreign policy staffer in the office. Sometimes I’ll also write memos for staffers comprised of research I’ve conducted. Interns are encouraged to attend events on the Hill to add to their experience. There are often...
CCPA Summer Series 2017: Andrew Cornell ’18, Policy and Culture in Graz, Austria

CCPA Summer Series 2017: Andrew Cornell ’18, Policy and Culture in Graz, Austria

I have had the incredible opportunity to be living, working, and learning in Graz, Austria, for the past four weeks. When I arrived, I had no Idea what kind of experience this would turn out to be. My time has been split between working at the mayor’s office and interning at the Center for Inter-American Studies at the University of Graz. At both of these organizations, I have been surprised at how much I have learned simply through everyday conversation over lunch, ‘at the watercooler’, or sitting at a desk. And I haven’t just been learning about Austria, but have conersed with people hailing from India to Cuba to Slovenia about everything from people’s day to day lives, to differing academic cultures, to political and cultural similarities and differences. Through my internship, I have had the chance to participate in a variety of activities, with my time during the work day being used primarily to either attend lectures, shadow city employees, or help my host organizations’ with work. The lectures and conferences I have attended have focused on the transnational movements of people and ideas, and how these movements have shaped cultural identities. For example, I had the opportunity to attend a conference on Jewish migrants after the Second World War, where students presented preliminary research on how Jewish communities dealt with their cultural identity after many of them were displaced into new countries such as America or Russia. Through the Center for Inter-American Studies, I have also had the opportunity to attend lectures on the cultural identities of Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago, and how these identities are...
CCPA Summer Series: Eleni Smitham ’19 White House Internship, Washington DC

CCPA Summer Series: Eleni Smitham ’19 White House Internship, Washington DC

 Liberal Arts in the Workplace Funding / White House Internship Summer 2016 Eleni Smitham ’19   Everything about this summer was kind of surreal. I remember the first day, walking up to the gate and expecting to be turned away by the Secret Service. But they let me in, and continued to let me in every single day for eleven weeks. Inside those gates I was given more responsibility and exposure to incredible work and people than I could have imagined. It was a privilege to be inside the gates of the White House, and to participate in effecting positive change. I was there as a part of the White House Internship Program, which provides college and graduate students from all over the country with an opportunity to build leadership skills and gain unparalleled professional experience. Interns are introduced to the public sector, and I was surprised and grateful at the amount of responsibility my fellow interns and I were given. I was fortunate to be working in the Presidential Personnel Office, which is the office that oversees the selection process for Presidential appointments. Staff in the Presidential Personnel Office recruit qualified candidates to best represent the interests of the President in departments and agencies across the Administration. My role was to communicate with candidates for political appointments. I worked with interns in my office on occasion, but was first and foremost a member of my team – a reality that I don’t think many interns elsewhere get to experience, and something that made my summer so much more fulfilling.   The White House Internship Program also emphasized building...