A Capitol Experience
Landing an internship in the office of a U.S. Congressman turned out to be one of the most valuable and memorable experiences of Graham Goldberg’s college career.
A double major in business administration and public policy who will graduate next fall, Goldberg spent a semester in Washington, D.C., on an internship in the office of Representative David Scott, a Democrat representing Georgia’s 13th congressional district. During the course of his internship, Goldberg attended briefings and committee hearings on behalf of staff members and wrote summaries of the meetings, wrote letters responding to constituent questions and concerns, led tours of the U.S. Capitol building for the congressman’s constituents, and greeted constituents and guests at the congressman’s office.
“While working in Congressman Scott’s office, I learned how a congressional office operates and was exposed to many events and processes that one can only witness while working on Capitol Hill — certainly things that cannot be learned from a textbook,” Goldberg said. “Interning for a summer on Capitol Hill (and in Washington, for that matter) certainly helped me build a network that can be utilized if I want to work in D.C. post-graduation. I learned how much I enjoyed working in public service, which I think has certainly influenced what jobs I will be looking for as I near the end of my time at Tech.”
Goldberg and a growing number of his classmates are discovering the many advantages of the new D.C. Internship Program, an option that adds governmental and policy expertise to the strong technological skills for which Tech students are renowned.
Through their participation in the D.C. Internship Program, some Yellow Jackets are helping members of Congress craft legislation and address constituents’ concerns, while others are playing a vital role in shaping the policies of federal agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice. The experiences they have in Washington, D.C., are a strong complement for students who are already well versed in technology innovation and commercialization, giving them a distinct competitive edge in the job market and in graduate school admissions.
Goldberg and two other recent D.C. interns have shared the stories of their time in Washington. Click any of the three videos below to hear about their experiences in the nation’s capital.
D.C. INTERNSHIP PROGRAM Q&A
Q: Who sponsors the D.C. Internship Program?
A: Georgia Tech’s Office of the Provost sponsors the program, and the Office of Government and Community Relations and the Division of Professional Practice handle intern recruitment and training.
Q: What support will I receive as a D.C. Intern?
A: Students receive a stipend and mentorship from Government Relations and Professional Practice staff. Each year, five students are selected to receive a $5,000 stipend for summer, and two students are selected to receive a $7,500 stipend for the fall or spring semesters. The stipends cover the cost of expenses (housing, transportation, and living expenses) for students serving in a full-time capacity as interns in Washington, D.C.
Also, interns are encouraged to tap into Georgia Tech’s vibrant alumni network in the D.C. area.
Q: What are the requirements of the internship?
A: Students are required to secure a federal government position (with a member of Congress, a congressional committee, or an executive branch office) that is aligned with their interests and professional aspirations. Past interns have held positions in the U.S. Department of Justice-Law and Policy Section, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer-Department of Health and Human Services, and the offices of Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.) and Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), among others. During the course of the internship, students work full-time in offices in and around Washington, D.C., for approximately 10 weeks during summer term or 16 weeks during the fall or spring semesters. To earn course credit, interns are also required to complete weekly journals and must be available to share their experiences with other Georgia Tech students once they return to campus.
Q: Who is eligible to receive a D.C. internship?
A: The D.C. Internship Program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of all majors, and is eligible for course credit.
Q: Who funds the internships provided by the program?
A: While the Institute has been able to make some start-up funds available, the D.C. Internship Program is seeking permanent funding that will ensure the availability of vital internships for interested and motivated students for decades to come. To inquire about making a gift in support of the program, contact Associate Vice President for Development Philip D. Spessard at 404.385.1418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Writer: Dan Treadaway
Digital Designer: Melanie Goux