My internship on Capitol Hill

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  • Porter is a junior international studies major from Zebulon Ga.

Amber Porter

Once again we are at the beginning of a new school year, but for many of you this is just a continuation of classes from the spring or summer. This is the first time I’ve taken classes since last fall. During the spring, I had the opportunity to participate in the Eagles in D.C. program. I spent my weekdays talking to constituents, researching legislation and writing letters. My first day consisted of reading talking points about the fiscal cliff and learning how to answer phones. Quickly, I learned that Congress is at a standstill. Neither chamber can pass legislation because of the opposing party, which leads to endless frustrations from constituents.

Luckily, my internship offered much more than the occasional angry caller did. I had the opportunity to attend the inauguration, which was a very interesting experience in itself. I attended several hearings, my favorite being the House Financial Services Committee hearing with Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve. My office received a table at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s largest fundraiser where Representatives Pete Sessions, Paul Ryan and Greg Walden spoke. I met most of the congressional delegation from Georgia as well as several Georgia Southern alums working in Washington. It still amazes me how many Eagles there are working on Capitol Hill.

All of this was possible because of Georgia Southern University. Every semester, they send students to intern in various government offices. If my experience sounded like fun, I urge you to go to informational meetings and learn more. Georgia Southern helps with your application and placement, which can be in Atlanta or D.C. You don’t even have to be interested in politics, though it helps. Congress covers every sector and has something for every major. My internship will more than likely be the best part of my college experience, so I would suggest it to anyone. Internships are the best way to get your name out there and to see if you’re interested in a particular career path.

As a new semester begins, it is time to start considering how to make this year better than the last. I believe Georgia Southern has the resources to do that for every person. So here’s to a new semester, Eagles. Let’s make it a good one.