For an overall reflection on the process of my involvement in the Illinois in Washington Program, I feel as though this has been an unforgettable journey. I entered this experience with the expectation of discovering my passions and I believe that I have come to a better understanding of what I desire to do after graduation. When I first started to apply to internships for the summer session, I was nervous and slightly overwhelmed because of the emphasized stress surrounding the need to find one as soon as possible. I applied to roughly ten in total before I received my first phone interview with a Congressman on Capitol Hill. One resolution I was firm about was that I wanted to work in a Congressman’s office in D.C. However, that initial phone interview did not result in an offer. I was disappointed but I persevered and continued to apply. One day in late April, I was attending one of my history course and we were discussing influential African American figures in Chicago. Congressman Danny K. Davis was mentioned for his significantly long term in office and goals as a champion for children. Ironically enough, he was one of the Congressmen I applied for. After that class, I checked my email and found out that I had been offered an internship in his office. I was in a state of shocked, it seemed like it was meant to be.
The move and transition from Chicago to D.C. ended up being smooth and exciting. My time spent in the office of Congressman Danny K. Davis opened my eyes to the complex workings of Congress. I am a rising senior in Political Science and History, with that in mind, I have taken endless classes that focused on the structure of each individual government branch. I believed that I possessed a decent understanding of the mechanics and workings of Congress. My first few weeks made me reevaluate my preconceived notions. For example, the environment on the Hill is extremely fast paced that the office continually has to be prepared for any legislation from the opposing party. When I read the newspaper at home, there is such a disconnection to the happenings on the Hill. My time here opened my eyes to how central D.C. is to not only the rest of the country but also to the whole world.
In regard to my specific role as an intern in the office Congressman Danny K. Davis, I have to perform the same slightly mundane jobs such as running over to the supply office to pick up more paper, answering phone calls, etc. However, I am presented with the opportunities to help with research on bills, to attend hearings, and the most recent astonishing event was giving a tour of the Capitol to the cast of Growing Up Hip Hop. This internship allowed me to expand my network and meet all types of people in the process. This summer confirmed my decision in that I will apply for a Capitol Hill position once I graduate. I love the energy of this city and believe I will reach my goal of success in D.C.