Max Berger Gives Us a Peek at What It's Like to Intern for Senator Rubio

Name: Max Berger

Age: 19

Major: Double Major in International Affairs (with a Concentration in Political Science) and English Literature (not a concentration)

Hometown: Davie, Fla.


Her Campus (HC): So, you got the opportunity to intern for Marco Rubio this past summer; that must've been pretty competitive, what process did you have to go through to score a spot? What things did you do to prepare yourself for this internship?

Max Berger (MB): Since I was about 14 years old, just a freshman in high school, I was given the opportunity to intern for Senator Rubio in one of his state offices in Miami, Florida. There I gained invaluable experience and connected with so many individuals that sought to help me with my future endeavors. Throughout high school, I continued every summer working for the Senator. But, initially, I was able to intern at such a young age because I met the Senator at a Miami Dolphins game and was blessed with a conversation that sparked the beginning of my political upbringing. After my high school interning days were over and I moved on to college, Senator Rubio offered me a paid position in his Washington, D.C. office working with other policy and foreign affairs alongside other like-minded individuals. In order to prepare for such a prestigious opportunity, I read up on almost everything the Senator was involved in, his policy etiquette, and any bills he created or sponsored.

HC: What motivated you or piqued your interest in working as an intern for Marco Rubio? 

MB: While I was in high school was when I first obtained the internship, but my interest in politics began in middle school when I joined the debate club. There, I learned about foreign policy and world issues that occurred in our daily lives. This motivated me to research and analyze these problems of our world's diverse political climates across the spectrum. So, when I was in high school, I continued with debate there and my interest and passion for politics continued to grow.

Courtesy: Max Berger

HC:  Walk me through a day in the life of a Marco Rubio intern: from morning to night, what were your tasks or daily responsibilities? 

MB: As an intern in Washington, D.C. our schedules varied every day. Because this year was a very sporadic time for politics (in terms of historical events occurring), my duties varied from attending committee hearings in the morning to writing up memos for respective policy workers to collaborating with fellow interns about what we will finish and do for the days to follow. But, some every day tasks included answering phone calls, returning missed calls, opening constituent mail, and entering data into our constituent mailing system. Senator Marco Rubio works for his constituents so it was very important that EVERY phone, voicemail, and letter were answered.

HC: You got to spend (how long) in Washington D.C. working, but I'm sure there was time for some fun outside of the office. What were some things you got to experience that weren't work-related.

MB: While spending about three and a half months in our nation's Capital, I was able to do so much. Living only a ten minute walk from the Capitol Building, I was in the center of Washington, D.C. On the days I did not work (so the weekends), I was able to do some exploring both with friends and alone. One of my favorite things to do in D.C. was to go to as many coffee houses that were not name brand and spend some time there either reading or doing work for the upcoming school year. But the days where I was feeling adventurous, I would go walk the Mall and explore the free museums. The amount of history in our Capital is amazing so it was very eye-opening to read all the facts about air and space, World War 1 and 2, and even about the history of African Americans. During the night time though, I would adventure out into different parts of the city to try all types of food that ranged from Indian to Ethiopian. The cuisines in D.C. were nothing like any other major city I have been to (maybe NYC). 

HC: Overall, what surprised you most about this experience and what was your favorite part of the job as a whole?

MB: During the internship, what had surprised me most was the amount of young individuals in D.C. By young, I mean majority were 30 years or less. There were, of course, a lot of interns but the staff workers for the politicians ranged from 23-34. It was very nice to be around people of your age group and that share common interests as you. My favorite part about the job as a whole was definitely the experience I gained and the forever-lasting friends I made. In Washington, I realized it was about only networking and being on just a professional basis with someone; it was more about getting to know the individual and connecting with them on a more personal level. Those types of relationships in the political world will take you to places no one can even imagine.

HC: My last burning question: Did you get to meet with Marco Rubio throughout your summer experience?

MB: I was able to meet the Senator on multiple occasions. I was given the opportunity to have lunch with him and some fellow interns in the Capitol for an afternoon. We also were able to meet him for some meet and greetings as well. But my favorite time to interact with Senator Rubio was when he was on his toes, dealing with the daily politics of the day. Some interns were allowed to attend different meetings and hearings that the Senator was presenting at or adding his input. Those times were the most inspiring because I was able to see, first hand, how the Senator handled the pressures of real world problems.