There have been a number of surprises since I came to Capitol Hill:
Yes, DC received over 30” of snow in a week! As a resident of the Sunshine State, I am shocked that I am living in a city with a real winter. And, even more surprisingly, I don’t need gloves, earmuffs, and scarves in 40 degree weather.
I came to the Hill knowing I’d be responsible for mostly administrative tasks. Honestly, I don’t mind doing the grunt work because: someone has to do it; I’ll do it well; and I am so happy and lucky to be here. And, as someone who has written letters to their Members of Congress, I know that the constituents do appreciate hearing back from their elected officials.
Furthermore, almost everyone on the Hill started as an intern. Many of my co-workers have told me their story of starting as an intern and rising to be a staffer; and, some have just made the transition within the past month. Listening to so many staffers talk about their stint as interns, I am reassured that I am not just a lowly intern, but just on a low rung of a ladder to the top.
Because they worked their way up as well, my boss’s staff has been fantastically supportive. The staffers really look for extra projects that interest me personally and give me the experience I need to stay on the Hill. They’re great sources of advice – from how to handle the occasionally difficult call, how to use the various computer programs, and even where to take my boyfriend to dinner when he visits! One staffer has an adorable photo guide to the interns with “fun facts” she collected about us (I confessed my fact: a childhood love of prairies and old-timey bonnets!).
DC and the Hill continue to surprise me — and I can’t wait to see what this place has in store for me next. I just hope it’s not more snow!
– Anna R., Star Fellow Spring 2010