My primary goal for this internship is to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of politics. As I hope to work in an office like this someday, I have tried to talk to as many different staff members as possible to get a better understanding of the kind of work that they do. Not only am I learning a great deal about each individual staff member, I am also learning so much about the way congressional offices work across the country.
Perhaps one of the most shocking things that I learned was about the size of the office. I was under the impression that every congressperson had a large staff running the show in the background. However, I learned they are only allowed 18 full-time staff members. This number seems much too small given all that we expect of our representatives and I was shocked to learn this fact. Every staff member is burdened with the tremendous responsibility of being experts in not just one, but multiple policy areas that they are in charge of.
As an intern, I have been lucky enough to take a peek into each policy area as I field phone calls and constituent requests. The offices truly do a lot for constituents and I’m excited to see what else I can learn in the next couple months.