My internship for this summer is in Congresswoman Jackie Walorski’s office.  She is a member of the House of Representatives and represents Indiana’s 2nd District.  She is currently in her third term in Congress and was appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee.  My office is in the Cannon House Office Building, and I have been enjoying the experience every day.  All of the staffers are younger ranging from early 20s to early 30s.  They all have been super welcoming, and I have not had any negative experiences working with them.  Besides me, there are two other interns that I work with on a daily basis.  We mostly get assigned equal work and stay in good communication throughout the day to evenly disperse work assigned to us.  My daily tasks range from ordering water jugs, delivering mail and newspapers, making coffee, giving Capitol tours, and answering phones.  These are all tasks that I expected as that is what interns do.  My favorite parts have been the substantive work that I have been able to do.  I frequently go to briefings in place of Legislative Assistants and take notes.  I then send am required to send briefing notes and memos to the corresponding LA.  I really enjoy going to these briefings as I have gained a lot of knowledge on topics outside of my main interest.  I’ve been able to learn a wide range of topics I never would have known before.  From municipal bonds to multiemployer pension plans to NASA Pluto missions to franchises offering higher education opportunities, there are always expert panels to deliver a great way to help that field.  One of the coolest aspects was during the NASA briefing when my name was picked out of a hat, and I won a NASA space pen.  Another awesome opportunity was to attend a briefing on the importance of nutritional supplements because the speaker was Christie Rampone.  She is a 3x Olympic Gold medalist and 2x World Cup winner who also was the United States Women’s Soccer team captain for many years.  Being able to meet someone so accomplished and able to stay at the top of her profession for so long was remarkable.  I even was lucky enough to get her autograph and take a picture with her.

OKeefe_Photo2Another awesome part of all these briefings is that most of them have free food for the attendees.  I’ve been able to finagle a good amount of free food so far this summer.

Other substantive work that has been a highlight of my internship is writing constituent letters to citizens in Indiana’s 2nd district.  These can be congratulatory letters for grants and awards to responses from constituent inquiry into Rep. Walorski’s stances on issues.  Currently I am also doing research for a new bill she is going to sponsor.  It would disperse proper claim benefits to WWII veterans that were exposed to mustard gas.  Doing this and beginning citizens casework files for problems they are facing really make me feel that my work is making a positive effect overall.  To close, I am really grateful of this great opportunity and will continue to work very hard and cherish my time in the nation’s capital.


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