For the second half of my summer, I interned with Congressman Jamie Raskin.
Congressman Raskin’s District Office: My other internship is in Congressman Raskin’s district office, in Rockville, MD. His district is the 8th district of Maryland, located right outside D.C. Working at the district office, I do a lot of work with his constituents, who come to this office with problems ranging from immigration issues to Veteran’s Affairs concerns to Social Security troubles. One of our most important responsibilities is answering the phone and passing along the information we receive. The staff members that work at the district office are all caseworkers, and they manage all of the problems that our constituents have. Additionally, we check the mail that people send to the Congressman. We also work on different projects. Some of the projects I have done include making an infographic about different types of Social Security benefits, a memo about Green Cards issued between certain years, and a list of bills introduced in the current congress relating to affordable housing reform. These projects go to the caseworkers, who use the information to help our constituents. Another aspect of this internship is that we’re encouraged to attend briefings on Capitol Hill. This is very exciting because we get to choose hearings on issues that we are passionate about, and then go to the Capitol building and hear from experts in the field. This internship has given me an insight on what it’s like to work in government, and I’ve loved it. It’s so rewarding helping constituents with important and urgent problems. Furthermore, Congressman Jamie Raskin is such an inspiring and strong progressive representative, and I am extremely proud to be working for an individual who is making real progress during such a tumultuous time in U.S. politics.
I knew that I wanted to work at a congressional office this summer, so I applied directly to many congressional offices on their website. I came across a posting about Democracy Summer on idealist.org, a job listing website focused on public service jobs. My advice to students interested in getting a similar internship and getting Skidmore summer funding is to start early! I spent a lot of my winter break researching internships, writing cover letters, and working on my summer funding application essays, and it all paid off!
The Summer Funding that I received was instrumental in my being able to intern at Democracy Summer and at the district office of Congressman Jamie Raskin. For the past few summers I have held a job as a camp counselor, and while I loved doing that, it had nothing to do with my future career path. Most political internships are unpaid, but the summer funding that I received allowed me to have two amazing internship experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise.