Senate Office of Robert P. Casey Jr.
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Aliza Winneg

Major: International Relations and Spanish
Minor: History
Hometown: Cheltenham, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the opportunity through discussions with advisers at the Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As a legislative intern for the office of Pennsylvania Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. I had the opportunity to view the legislative process first hand during an especially exciting time to be in D.C. I interacted directly with constituents by fielding voicemails and conducting tours of the Capitol building. I worked directly within a set of legislative policies that included immigration, education, LGBT issues, and Medicare and Medicaid. Within this jurisdiction, I drafted letters, sorted constituent mail, and attended briefings dealing with these aforementioned issues. I also had the opportunity to attend lectures given by prominent members of the legislative branch such as Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through working as a legislative intern I gained firsthand knowledge on how the legislative branch and our government operates. From gaining basic knowledge as to the steps of the process of a bill becoming a law to learning policy specific information this experience has been the peak of my civics education. Through researching bills and laws within my legislative cluster dealing with immigration, education, LGBT issues, and Medicare and Medicaid issues I gained a greater grasp on the problems and points of interest within these policy areas. Finally, through drafting letters to constituents dealing with the aforementioned issues I was able to improve upon my writing skills to write in a concise and professional manner.

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

I aspire to either work as an immigration lawyer or to work with some aspect of immigration policy. I was fortunate to be placed within the legislative cluster that covers immigration policy for the Senate office. Through this opportunity I was able to both stay up to date and learn how my supervisors, the Legislative Assistants and Legislative Correspondent, discuss and deliberate on both legislation and constituent issues dealing with immigration. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity learn and gain insight about the variety of post-graduate paths of the employees in the office. This experience solidified my interests in public service and immigration policy, however I also learned that law school might not be the only path to achieve these goals.

I learned more about the inner-workings of our government in this six-week experience than I have in all my years of education.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience in a heartbeat to other Liberal Arts students. I learned more about the inner-workings of our government in this six-week experience than I have in all my years of education. Both making even a minuscule impact on the lives of constituent as well as working in the midst of the excitement and history of Capitol Hill were incomparable feelings.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program provided me with the class that first incited my interest in civics. The opportunity to take the honors section of PL SC 001 provided me with the in depth basic knowledge to encourage me to apply to this internship to learn more about the actual inner-workings of our government.

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