As a Congressional Aide, Girl Scout Tiffani N. spent a week shadowing the office of Senator Tom Harkin. Tiffani writes about her experience below.
It was more than a pleasure shadowing the office of Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa for one week. Not only did I have firsthand experience in the nation’s political arena, I also had firsthand experience in a professional workplace. Every moment working in the Senate was a learning experience, and I honestly had the time of my life!
I attended hearings in the House and the Senate dealing with issues I am interested in. During these hearings, I would take detailed notes so I could transfer these notes into a write-up, called a memo. Back at the office, I electronically filed constituent mail, performed research, and compiled mail sent from other Congressional offices.
I enjoyed conducting research on Senator Harkin’s HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) committee and learning about the issues he cares about the most, like reversing child labor, advancing biomedical engineering, and passionately helping those who are disabled. In fact, during my tour of the Capitol, I found out that Senator Harkin heavily advocated for the United States Capitol to have wheelchair ramps!
Every day, the Capitol offered an Intern Lecture in which one Senator would come and talk about their experience, then answer all of the pressing questions from the interns. In those lectures, the interns from my office and I had to plan in advance so we would have enough time to get a ride in the cool underground Capitol subway system! I can easily say that in those huge lectures, I was the youngest member there–all because of Girl Scouts!
The week I spent working in the Senate is a week I will remember forever. I owe all my thanks to the wonderful Senator Tom Harkin for having me in his office as a Congressional Aide, and to Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital for even making this experience possible for me.