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Internship: Office of Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson
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Cole Beauchat

Major:International Politics

Minor: Economics

Hometown: Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One day in early March 2014 I drove to the Congressman's office and asked if they had any opportunities for an internship. I submitted a cover letter and my resume and called back once or twice a week to check on the status of it all. Eventually, Susan, the main caseworker at the office, called to offer me a position as an intern. She then informed me that I could potentially get credit for it for school, and I then researched how to go about doing that.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

At my internship I have talked directly with constituents about opinions, started cases on the behalf of constituents, attended luncheons with the Congressman's field representative, Mike Glazer, met and spoke with the Congressman on several occasions, and I have gone to various events with the Congressman himself. But day to day, I am in the office speaking with constituents and writing letters informing them on the status of cases as I hear back from whichever agency the constituent has the issue with. My favorite part of the experience has been attending events with the Congressman and Mike. These events include legislative luncheons, fundraisers, Ag Progress Days. Also, I will be attending public outreach events, and local industry, specifically farming and agriculture, tours.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically this experience has given me some insight into the practical application of my degree in the real world. It has also given me a little bit of hope for a career following my collegiate career. But more importantly, it has shown me the reality of some political theories and schools of thought. Politics is very much a science, despite what some people may say, and it is important to study. One of the theories that I have experienced first-hand include; the Median Voter Theory, especially with this year being an election year for the Pennsylvania 5th District. Every time something in the world happens, constituents call in to voice their opinions about it and, most of the time, they are all clustered around one point on the political spectrum, but it is always interesting to hear from those outliers in the population.

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

As of now, my long term career goals are to move to Washington D.C. and work for the Department of State. However, in the short term, I am going to attempt to be admitted to the payroll of Congressman Thompson or one of his colleagues in Congress. I would like to work my way up the bureaucratic ladder to a place of importance. I believe I have a fairly good chance at being hired by Mr. Thompson or one of his colleagues. I have networked with many people on Mr. Thompson's staff, other representatives' staff, and even some staffers of state representatives. For now, I plan to continue to network and build a good base of contacts in the industry and make a good name for myself as a hard worker.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

Yes, I would absolutely recommend this position to any other Liberal Arts students. Susan is a very caring and easy going supervisor. Not only that, but the entire staff and the Congressman himself are very easy to get along with and talk to. Susan is also immensely knowledgeable, as she has been working at that office for several years and has seen three congressmen pass through.

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