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Elijah Heindricks

Political Scince & Economics

Congresswoman Susan Brook's Office

How has your internship helped build skills and clarify your career goals?

Throughout this summer, I've had the opportunity delve into public policy while also learning about the nuances of politics. Working with constituents has sharpened my communication skills, specifically those relating to customer service and being a good listener. The opportunity to work on public policy has also enabled me to further hone my critical thinking skills in a context relevant to my studies at Purdue. This internship has helped me gain a better idea of what I want my career to be. I really enjoy working with public policy in a fast environment, so I will make sure to consider that while making decisions about my future.

How do you apply your Liberal Arts skills in your internship?

My political science and economics courses have provided valuable skills which I've used on a daily basis while working on Capitol Hill. The knowledge and critical thinking skills I've developed in my political science course help me in various aspects, whether it be drafting co-sponsorship memos or attending briefings hosted by various public interest groups. My economic courses prepared me to complete an in-depth economic policy proposal during my time with the office. In short, my Liberal Arts education has been incredibly valuable during my time in Washington.

Describe your typical day as an intern.  

A typical day begins with a short walk past the Supreme Court and Library of Congress to the House Office Buildings. Once in the office, my duties range from staffing the front desk, greeting visitors as they walk in, to drafting co-sponsorship memos, essentially being a short summary of a given bill and whether or not the staff recommends the Congresswoman co-sponsor. On some days, constituents will have scheduled a Capitol tour. At that point, one of the interns will show them around the Capitol, explaining both the history of the building as well as the stories behind various pieces of art or architectural choices.

What was the most exciting thing about your role? 

The most exciting aspects of working on Capitol Hill, for me, are the grandeur of the place and the pace at which the office operates. At any given point, you may be working on a certain policy problem and then five minutes later you walk past a presidential candidate in the hallway. The legislative session is busy, but well worth the effort. The opportunity to work with policy, help constituents, and meet everyone in the office was immensely meaningful to me. It's something I will never forget and an experience which I hope to build on in the future.

How did you learn about your internship?

I learned about this internship on the Congresswoman's website. I applied to dozens of internships last spring and I was glad to have the opportunity to work for my district's representative.