One of our Fall 2014 Semester students, Anthony Iannarelli, interned on Capitol Hill last semester - read what he had to say about the experience below!
Over the past three months, as part of the Penn in Washington semester program, I have been working an internship on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-07). When most people think of a congressional internship, they think of answering phones and sorting through mail, and while these are both essential duties of interns, my experience has gone well beyond these tasks and has been a truly exciting and rewarding experience.
In the short time I’ve been on the Hill, I’ve been given many more responsibilities than just answering phones. Staffers have me attend briefings (which usually include a free lunch!) almost daily, on topics ranging from Ebola to military funding to natural disaster preparedness. I’ve also attended House Committee hearings with my Congressman, at which I have gotten to hear testimonies from White House Cabinet members and directors of federal agencies, and I have even been sighted on national television (C-SPAN) during a few hearings. The most rewarding part of my job however, is researching and drafting letters and official documents. It is a very unique and fulfilling feeling to see a document that I’ve written be published in the official Congressional Record.
That's me in the top left!
In my opinion, the most unique thing about working on Capitol Hill is that you never know who you’re going to see or meet. Whether it be riding in an elevator with former All-Pro Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive lineman turned Congressman Jon Runyan, passing the Speaker of the House in the hallway while running an errand, riding in the underground Senate subway with 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul, or personally meeting an NFL Hall of Fame running back during a congressional briefing, there is never a shortage of interesting and important people on the Hill.
I have enjoyed my experience interning in Congress so much so that I’ve extended my internship beyond the end date of the Penn in Washington program. Not only has it allowed me to explore the political system firsthand outside the confines of a classroom, but it has also exposed me to a career field I am now very much interested in.