This past Fall I was fortunate to participate in the Panetta Institute for Public Policy. The first part of the program was a two week orientation at the Institute in Monterey. The orientation included dozens of speakers who have worked in all levels of government and have expertise in a wide range of fields. Some of these speakers included Vice President Dan Quayle, the House of Representative's Parliamentarian, and Washington Post Reporter Dan Balz.
After the two week orientation, the Panetta Institute paired me with Sacramento Congressman Ami Bera. For the next 11 weeks, I worked full time as a Congressional intern in the House of Representatives in Rep. Bera's office. A big part of my internship was serving the constituents of Rep. Bera’s district, logging their comments which came via mail, phone calls and emails, and passing them on to the Congressman. We also responded to constituent questions and concerns, to help them understand policy issues and explain the Congressman’s position. As an intern, I also gave tours of the Capitol building to constituents visiting Washington D.C. and help them set up tours at other historical sites and monuments. I was able to attend Congressional briefings from outside organizations and report back to the legislative staff, as well as prepare the Congressman's prep binder for his Committee Hearings which included background information and possible talking points.
I am back at Santa Clara University for my junior and senior year. However, I hope to return to Congress to work there soon after I graduate.