This spring, Eric Kashdan is a legislative intern at the United States House of Representatives for Congressman John Tierney, representing the sixth Congressional District of Massachusetts. Eric found this opportunity online, with the knowledge that he wanted to work in the federal government to gain policymaking experience. It also didn’t hurt that his hometown’s representative is Congressman Tierney.
CCD: Tell us about your duties at the U.S. House of Representatives.
Eric: My job is to provide both administrative and policy support to the office, as they go about the business of policymaking and constituent service. This means that I do just about anything and everything, including entering names from a public petition into a database, booking and giving tours of the U.S. Capitol building to sixth district residents in D.C., attending briefings and hearings on issues of legislative importance, and conducting policy research as requested by the office staff.
The topics of my work so far have been incredibly diverse, from compiling constituent demands for a raise of the minimum wage to researching diplomatic security conditions at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
CCD: What is the hardest part of your internship?
Eric: Probably the incredible demands of the job! I work full time, four days a week on top of a full schedule of night classes. There is an amazing amount to see and do, and it can become almost too much to absorb at times.
CCD: What’s the best part?
Eric: The best thing about my internship by far is the amazing people and the events going on in the Capitol every day. There are so many interesting political figures to meet and so much to learn about all the time.
CCD: What is one thing that you will take away that will be most beneficial in your future?
Eric: The most useful thing I’ve learned for future internships is really just the skills of networking and the knowledge that you need to be proactive about experiencing what’s out there. I’ve made many great connections and had some awesome experiences, and they all happened naturally as I went about trying to get the most out of every day in Washington, D.C.
CCD: What has this internship taught you?
Eric: This internship has enlightened me on what public service in American politics truly is. Because of it, I’m more confident than ever that this is what I want to do, and it has therefore provided me with the confidence I need to pursue professional plans in this field that were only tentative before.
CCD: What’s next? Has this experience changed your future plans?
Eric: After this semester in Washington, I plan to stay for the summer. After that, it’s back to BU for my senior year, and time to begin my search for life after graduation. Right now, I am leaning towards enlisting in Officer Training in the U.S. Navy!
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