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Learning Legislation with Levin

Lizzie

Experience Information

Employer: Senator Carl Levin
Job Title: Legislative Intern
Major: International Relations
Received Credit?: Yes
Paid?: No

Description of the Organization

For 5 weeks this spring, I spent my time interning with Senator Carl Levin. Levin has been a member of the Senate for over 30 years and is currently the senior senator from Michigan. He is chairman of the Armed Services committee as well as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Through both these roles, Levin has shown his focus on bipartisanship and his drive to craft meaningful policy.

Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed

During my time interning for Senator Levin's office, I was responsible for completing administrative tasks as well as legislative tasks. Some of my administrative responsibilities included giving tours of the Capitol, running errands throughout the Senate, maintaining daily press clips, and sorting constituent mail. My legislative responsibilities included working with the staff member tasked with foreign policy and judiciary issues. I attended briefings on relevant topics, wrote memos on various subjects and also drafted responses to constituent mail.

Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience

Through this experience, I learned more about the in depth workings of the Senate and how policy is crafted. I saw how members of the Senate work together to pass legislation as well as how members communicate their disagreements. Through my legislative responsibilities, I honed my writing skills and enhanced my abilities to write short and concise memos. Following this experience, I felt more comfortable conveying large amounts of information in brief memos.

Favorite Part of the Experience

During my time in Washington DC, Senator Levin presided over a hearing with Apple regarding their use of tax loopholes and offshore accounts. As an Apple employee, I found this very exciting. The CEO of Apple even came and testified in front of the Senator Levin and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The atmosphere in the hearing was tense at some points and being able to see the action first hand was an experience I will never forget.

How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals

This internship showed me the ins and outs of government and the inner workings of the Senate. The debates and constant discussions of policy was contagious and I thoroughly enjoyed the constant mental stimulation. This internship also showed me how much I value innovation and creativity. There were many processes that I observed which could have been run more efficiently however, there was not a desire among staff to fix them. For me, this is important and is something I will now look for in future careers.

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of GVSU.

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