My concept of office culture probably differs from a lot of people. My only work experience is working on a presidential campaign where I worked brutal hours and basically lived in my office. It was intense, high paced, incredibly stressful and there was a lot of pressure on us. I slept very little and had no concept of what work life balance even was; my work was my life. Luckily, I had amazing coworkers that made those endless days bearable and even fun. Going into this internship in a Senator’s office, I expected a very similar work environment. I would be doing much less as an intern but would be surrounded by highly skilled and intelligent 20-30somethings who work relentlessly in order to make a positive contribution to the office and to the country. Politics, by nature, is demanding and unforgiving. Being an intern means that I’m able to learn from those around me and see what goes into addressing constituent concerns and working on policy. Everyday the staffers in my office are working on real issues that have real impacts on millions of people. They care deeply about what they are doing and strive to make the country a better place. Their jobs are stressful and they work unbelievably hard. But just like the presidential campaign, they love what they are doing and they make it not just manageable for themselves, but enjoyable. Knowing that I am able to contribute to the office and allow them and the Senator to do their jobs makes this internship worth it for me. I enjoy high paced work and know that there is meaning in what I’m doing.
My office is in the Russell Senate building, the oldest of the three Senate buildings and in my opinion, the best. Within our section of the building, we have ten rooms that make up the Senator’s office. The dress code is business formal when Congress is in session and business casual when it is in recess. I don’t mind having to wear business clothes however it is not that pleasant when DC is unbearably hot and humid in the summers. I am already struggling to adjust to the heat, the past three days have been over 90 degrees and it’s only May. Overall, I really enjoy the office and the people and am excited to spend my summer in DC. I hope to work in DC after college and this is a great opportunity to get some experience.