WIG Summer Interns Describe D.C. Experience
Wildcats in Washington
This summer six University of Kentucky students ventured to Washington, D.C., to participate in the UK SGA-sponsored “Wildcats in Washington” program. All six students shared some of their most memorable experiences of life as an intern in the nation’s capital.
Intern for Sen. Rand Paul
“Interning in Washington, D.C., was an awesome experience for me. From giving Capitol tours to doing legislative research, everything was a learning experience. I particularly enjoyed the afterhours events like the Capitol Hill Ice Cream Social and the annual Congressional Baseball Game for charity. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our members of Congress are people just like you and me, and it was nice to be able to interact with them outside work and get to know them. Of course, D.C. is a vibrant and active town where there is always something to do, which made my stay even more enjoyable.”
Intern for Sen. Mitch McConnell
“I have had a great time working in the nation’s capital. Working in Sen. McConnell’s office has given me an opportunity to really see the federal government work in a hands on way. I was able to meet with Sen. McConnell for over an hour in his office and having this experience was incredible. I’ve learned a lot in my time in D.C. Most importantly, I have learned that even when there is gridlock on Capitol Hill it doesn’t mean that the government isn’t working. The Senate’s slow moving pace ensures that legislation is properly thought through and not shoved through on a whim.”
Intern for Rep. Brett Guthrie
“My time working and living in Washington, D.C., was an invaluable and exciting experience I will never forget. As a congressional staffer the legislation, decisions, and representation is all dedicated to the home constituency. I was proud to represent my home district in D.C. and felt a special connection taking calls from constituents and giving tours of the Capitol to members of the Commonwealth. Everyday proved to be just as exciting as the last; working in such a historically significant building was hard to believe — you never knew who could be walking the halls of Congress (unless you saw their security detail first, of course)…The memorable experiences are countless but on an average day I was able to watch highly anticipated votes from the House Chamber Gallery, stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court during the healthcare decision, and climb to the very top of the capitol dome for a breathtaking view of D.C.”
Intern for former Rep. Geoff Davis
“Interning in D.C. was probably some of the most fun times I have ever had. This was simply because it never felt like work. Every day I was doing something that was fun, exciting, and most of all important. It was amazing to be at the U.S. Capitol every day for several weeks and see the inter-working of our government. My favorite part of D.C. was going to Mt. Vernon. It was amazing to see the home of our first president and what life was like at the creation of our country. My time in Washington was amazing and I will never forget it.”
Intern for Rep. Ben Chandler
“I was very fortunate because Congressman Chandler is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, and as an International Studies major and Arabic & Islamic Studies minor, I was able to intimately observe the processes and events that I have studied throughout college. It was interesting listening to the constituent concerns of my home district — while some callers were difficult to deal with, it has not swayed my opinion that contacting your elected official about your concerns is essential! Towards the end of my internship, I ran between the office and the Brazilian consulate’s office because of a visa issue for a constituent; this was a very exciting opportunity, especially considering my academic interests. While I loved almost all of D.C., I lived in Georgetown, and I think it’s a gorgeous part of the town. Also, I encourage everyone to arrange a Capitol tour and visit the Botanical Gardens!”
Intern for Rep. Hal Rogers
“Ironically, my favorite part about being in Washington was interacting with the constituents from Kentucky. It was always a great day when I would be able to give a Capitol tour to a nice family of Southeastern Kentuckians. I also enjoyed taking phone calls from constituents regarding issues that the Congressional body deals with daily on Capitol Hill. It was quite rewarding to connect the gap between policies with the concrete benefits and/or implications these government acts have on individuals.”.