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Washington DC Office of Congresswoman Dina Titus
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Rachel Fleischer

Major: Political Science and Music Performance
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship through Congresswoman Titus's website. This was a standard way of finding out about the internship because most Congressional offices have online applications for potential interns to fill out.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern, my duties consisted of answering the phone, attending legislative briefings, assisting staffers with various projects, and giving tours of the Capitol to constituents. Each duty allowed me to engage with the different tasks completed by the staffers and allowed me to gain a better idea of what a life in politics consisted of as a legislative assistant to a Member of Congress. One of my favorite tasks of working on the Hill was attending legislative briefings because I was able to learn in-depth about issues that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned about. Luckily, during my internship, Congress was in session the majority of the time allowing me to see the office in full swing. Every day there was a constant stream of lobbyists and constituents visiting the office to either meet with staffers and/or the Congresswoman in order to advocate for their issues. I always liked talking to them so that I could learn more about their advocacy issues and the proposed changes they would like to see happen in order to better Las Vegas. When Congress was in session I also noticed that the vibes of Congress, in general, depended on the news cycle. For example, when the Senate was voting to debate health care and then on the ‘skinny repeal,’ the office was buzzing as constituents were constantly calling and faxing the office and the staff was getting prepared in case the bill passed through the Senate and ended up going to the House floor for a vote. Other notable moments that occurred on my time on the Hill always tended to happen either in the elevators or around the elevators. For some reason, the elevators seemed to be the watering hole of the House and Senate buildings. In fact, I met both Representative John Lewis and Senator Bernie Sanders in the elevators and even made small talk with them.

Each duty allowed me to engage with the different tasks completed by the staffers and allowed me to gain a better idea of what a life in politics consisted of as a legislative assistant to a Member of Congress.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Attending legislative briefings impacted me academically because I was able to attend briefings on immigration in the U.S. which will help me write my honors thesis on immigration legislation. Some of the briefings that I went to were either specifically about upcoming immigration policy, policies for political asylum seekers, and the future of DACA and DAPA. These briefings were my favorite because I was able to gain exposure to a field that really interests me and will be able to apply what I learned to my thesis.

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

Upon graduation, I would like to complete a J.D. program in order to pursue my goal of obtaining a law degree. This experience positively contributed to my future career goals because it solidified my resolve to enter into the world of politics once I graduate with both my undergraduate and J.D. degrees.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it allows students to gain a better understanding of what the policy-making process looks like from the perspective of a staffer in a Congressional Office as well as helps students gain real-world experience that will help set the foundation for a future career in politics.

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