Warisha Aslamwarisha

Political Science

Senator Dick Durbin's Office

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

My internship helped clarify my career goals because it provided me with an opportunity to gain a first-hand and more nuanced understanding regarding the inner workings of the government. As a political science student, one of my professional aspirations is to work on the Hill in the arena of public policy, which was further reinforced through the skills that I built as a part of being a Congressional Intern, such as networking, analytical thinking, leadership application, and political communication.

How do you apply your Liberal Arts skills in your internship?
Almost all of the skills that I have acquired as a Liberal Arts student were applicable and proved to be exceedingly useful while I worked as a  Congressional Intern. Liberal Arts have taught me adaptability and flexibility, which were a requirement for this internship, as we had to deal with different cases and tasks on a daily basis. Creative thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication, which are all the skills that I have learned in my Liberal Arts classrooms, were also needed when we assisted the staffers and constituents with a variety of federal matters. I also used my interdisciplinary leadership skills whenever a task required me to step up to take charge, as well as teamwork while cooperating with the other interns.

Describe your typical day as an intern.  

My typical day as a Congressional Intern began with me arriving at Senator Durbin's Chicago Office by 9:00 am. After that, my daily responsibilities and tasks began, which consisted mostly of constituent services as well as outreach research. In reference to constituent services, I had the opportunity to assist staffers with casework, which essentially consisted of providing help to Illinois constituents when it comes to dealing with federal agencies. Additionally, my outreach research covered a wide array of federal matters. I was responsible for creating various memorandums pertaining to meetings, events, and organizations, as well as conducting background research for a variety of federal matters. There were days where I also attended press conferences or other outside events.

What was the most challenging aspect of your internship?  

The first few days of the internship were challenging, mainly since I was not yet accustomed to the magnitude of information that we needed to keep track of, but I soon became comfortable with that due to the endless support from the staffers at the office as well as my fellow interns.

What was the most exciting thing about your role? 

I would have to say that the most exciting part about this internship was the speakers that we interns got to hear from, which ranged from judges, lawyers to elected government officials, as their insights were invaluable.

What surprised you most about your internship? 

What surprised me the most about the internship was how much I enjoyed the work. Each day simply flew by.

Describe the most meaningful experience you had as an intern.

The most meaningful experience I had as an intern has to be the fact that through this internship, I found the opportunity to help people. While working, I never lost sight of how each phone call, each case and each file involved real people, real struggles and real stories. Being able to do my part was incredibly humbling and meaningful.



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