Interning for a Congressman
Employer: Congressman Bill Huizenga
Job Title: District Office Intern
Major: Political Science
Received Credit: Yes
Description of the Organization
Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) has a district office in Grandville, and it primarily deals with constituent relations. The office is small, with approximately 5-7 caseworkers that specialize in certain areas such as Veteran's Affairs or Social Security while others handle constituent outreach.
Description of the Tasks/Projects Completed
The prioritized task of my internship was answering all incoming phone calls and either directing them to the appropriate caseworker or recording the constituent's opinion. In addition, each morning I would compile a list of relevant news articles from various sources in the 2nd District that is emailed to all of Congressman Huizenga's staff (both in the district and in Washington D.C.) as well as the congressman himself. Outside of these activities, I conducted various projects such as writing congratulatory letters, organizing and updating the office's database, writing memos, and creating a travel brochure.
Skills/Knowledge Gained Through The Experience
I expanded upon numerous skills through this internship such as writing, organizational, speaking, and graphic design skills. I learned about the inner-workings of a congressional office, and how representatives serve the needs of his or her constituents through offices such as the one I interned for.
Favorite Part of the Experience
There was never a dull moment working for the office, and no two days were ever the same. My most favorite part was the friendliness of the staff and the comfortable atmosphere of the office; even though I was an unpaid intern, I was treated as a valuable member of the office.
How the Experience Influenced Future Career Goals
For the past several years, I have always had the goal of establishing a career in politics (though I have kept my options open as to whether I would work in the legislature or for a non-governmental organization), but this internship sparked new interest in the possibility of working in a district office as a caseworker. I could see myself working as a full-time employee in a district office after my positive internship experience.