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The Bellefonte District Office of Congressman Glenn Thompson
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Anthony Stem

Major: Political Science
Minor: Music/LER
Hometown: New Freedom, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I spoke on the phone over the summer with a former Congressional Staffer who now works in government affairs. During our conversation, the staffer recommend that I pursue a local internship at the district office of a state or federal legislator. Subsequently, I contacted the Bellefonte Office of Congressman Thompson and ultimately earned an internship for the Spring 2017 Semester.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I view my internship as an opportunity to serve the people of Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District while gaining new insights into the operations of our federal government. Each day, I spend time taking calls from constituents, entering information into the House of Representative’s digital database, assisting other members of the office with casework, and sitting in on meetings between Congressman Thompson (or his staffers) and members of the community. While I have always known that congressional district offices play an important role in constituent-government relations, I was impressed to observe the incredible range of activities performed by the Bellefonte staffers. As one can imagine, interning in a congressional office directly after a national election has been an intriguing experience. Our office has received a record amount of constituent correspondence, greatly increasing each staffers workload. As a result, I have been forced to improve my overall work efficiency to keep up with demand, a refined skill that will certainly prove beneficial in numerous ways looking forward.

"Interning at a Congressional District Office is a fantastic way to improve one’s sociability, ability to work efficiently, and adaptability in a professional setting."

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a Political Science major, I spend quite a bit of time studying the history and operations of the Legislative Branch. Being part of the Bellefonte District office has provided me with a new perspective into the operations of Congress and deepened my desire to further understand the legislative process and federal government as a whole. As a Schreyer Honors Scholar, I set out at the beginning of the semester to write a research paper pertaining to Constitutional Law. After learning that I was participating in a congressional internship, my professor suggested that I choose a topic pertaining to the Legislative Branch. As a result, I am now researching how decisions made by the Supreme Court have shaped the investigative ability of the United States Congress.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

By participating in this internship, I have expanded my personal network and developed working relations with staffers in three of Congressman Thompson’s offices. Hopefully, these connections will be beneficial as I transition into the professional world. My current experience has inspired me to apply for further government related internships for the summer, some of which are based out of Harrisburg and some of which take place in Washington. Hopefully, a summer experience will help me further understand the career paths at my disposal. Additionally, I have an interest in the realm of law and may decide to apply for law school.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this experience for any student interested in learning about the day-to-day operations of the federal government. Interning at a Congressional District Office is a fantastic way to improve one’s sociability, ability to work efficiently, and adaptability in a professional setting.

For more information on internship opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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