I had a great experience working as a Congressional Aide in the office of Representative Slaughter of the 25th District of New York. It was really interesting to see the “behind-the-scenes” lives of people who work on Capitol Hill. Some of the intern tasks I did included folding letters/stuffing envelopes, gathering opinion articles that the Congresswoman might be interested in reading, and summarizing Congressional letters. The entire staff of Congresswoman Slaughter’s office was so friendly and helpful, especially the Staff Assistant and the interns working in her office for the summer. I found it interesting to learn about how they got to working in a congressional office, what they studied in college, where they went to school, etc. I could tell that the whole office was trying to make sure that my week on the Hill was educational and interesting- I didn’t have a lot of downtime because there were so many cool things planned for me to do and see.
Representative Slaughter is on the Rules Committee so I was able to go and listen to a hearing they had on the Student Success Act. It was really fascinating to see how some of these decisions are made and the process of how they are debated. I learned that it can be really hard to pass legislation and that it can take a really long time so dedication and patience is really important when trying to make changes. During my week on the Hill, I had the chance to deliver something to the hopper, which was really cool! I also got to sit in on a meeting with constituents, get a tour of the Capitol, and go onto the House floor. During my week, I learned a lot about how much work goes into being a Representative and running a congressional office. I am so grateful for this experience and I only wish it had been longer than one week!