Capitol Hill: Home to the United States Capitol, Senate, House of Representatives and the Supreme Court. It’s arguably one of the most important and influential places in the United States, and one of Florida State University’s own had the opportunity to intern there over the summer. Continue reading to learn more about Georgina Patient’s experience on Capitol Hill!
Her Campus (HC): Hello Georgina! Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Georgina Patient (GP): I am currently a Senior studying International Affairs and Political Science. I was raised in the United Kingdom, but I went to high school in St. Pete. Right now, my family lives in Vermont, so I’m kind of from everywhere!
HC: What made you want to intern on Capitol Hill in the first place?
GP: I had been interested in politics from a pretty young age, but I never thought about pursuing a career in it because I thought it wasn’t pretty lucrative. However, when I got to FSU, I dabbled in many possible things. For instance, I joined a few clubs, but that was not where my focus ultimately was. I kept looking for something that I was good at, and I actually got into social media management for a while. I wasn’t too passionate about it, so I went back and worked on a congressional campaign in Massachusetts. I truly loved it and that sparked my interest in politics. From there, I joined FSU’s Institute of Politics. Then, I saw that there was an opening for an internship on Capitol Hill. I kind of Hail Maryed it and was so surprised when I got the internship. I was over the moon and had quite possibly the best summer of my life!
HC: Can you take me through a typical day in your life as an intern on Capitol Hill?
GP: Of course! I’ll take you through my favorite kind of day, which is a hearing day. I was living in an apartment building that was designed for people with summer internships. So, I was able to make friends through that and on Capitol Hill. I would wake up, commute and take the metro to work, which usually took 20-30 minutes. I would arrive at work by 9:00 a.m. and wait in a long line to get approved to enter the building. Once I got through, I would go to my office and say hello to my colleagues in the small business community room. There is a series of underground tunnels that connect the three different House of Representatives buildings. Usually, I would walk through these tunnels and get a coffee from the Dunkin Donuts that is located there.
Then, I would start the morning by looking at the news of the day for small businesses. I would also do my own research. On a hearing day, I would walk myself over to the hearing room around 10:00 a.m. This was great because I got to watch the committee I was working for conduct a hearing. After this, I would go back to my office and do some work, such as researching different aspects of a small business bill. Then, I take my lunch break around 1:00 p.m. when I would walk to the cafeteria and grab lunch with some friends.
In the afternoon, there were usually these great intern speaker series lectures, so they would have Congresspeople speak to the interns and we got to ask questions. The best one I got to see was Nancy Pelosi. By 5:00 p.m., I would leave the office. A lot of the time, there would be interesting networking events, including a NASA Networking Event. I actually got to meet the designer of the new space telescope that came out. At around 7:00 p.m., I would take the metro back and just hang out with my friends in my apartment.
HC: What do you plan on doing after graduation? Are you thinking of going back to Washington D.C.?
GP: My plan is to go back to D.C. and hopefully get a job as a staff assistant in an office. Basically, the staff assistant is the next position up. I would either like to do that or become a Legislative Correspondent. I would love to do that for a couple of years and then hopefully get into Public Policy after focusing on what aspect of policy I like the most. After that, hopefully, I would come back as a Legislative Assistant or Legislative Director.
From struggling to find a passion in her early years of college to interning on Capitol Hill, Georgina Patient is an inspiration. Her insight about interning in Washington D.C. is truly informative and provides interesting behind-the-scenes information about working in a high-profile setting.