**New to 2018**
A Directors Internship with Congressman Castro offers the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience and understanding of the functionality of a congressional office.
Interns are responsible for assisting the Congressman and his staff with a variety of tasks. Director's Interns are responsible for answering phones, researching legislation, attending hearings and briefings, and responding to constituent letters on the various issues that come before the House. As a result, they will have a firsthand look at the legislative process and the many other functions of a congressional office.
2018 Intern Reflection
Working as a congressional intern for Congressman Joaquín Castro has been a truly incredible experience. While the day-to-day tasks of a congressional internship include answering phones, sorting mail, running errands, giving tours, completing various projects for staffers, attending briefings, and writing memos, what I’ve taken away from these weeks is something that cannot be simply and neatly described in a list of my responsibilities. Capitol Hill really is, as many former interns report, a place full of energy – energy that I’ve felt in the halls of office buildings I’ve run between to obtain signatures for an important letter, or reverberating from staffers passionately discussing an issue, or from the children of constituents genuinely excited to get a tour of the Capitol.
Yet with that excitement comes a sense of the gravity of the issues with which the office deals. Of course, as an intern I have not made any major decisions or exerted influence, but the policies supported by the Congressman and work of the staffers I’ve helped are having real, tangible effects on people’s lives. The greatest reminders of this are often constituent callers. It has been difficult not to be moved by many of callers’ passion about issues – especially, for example, the forced separation of families and detention of migrant children at the border, a humanitarian crisis which is intensely personal for many callers who reside near the border. I have also been greatly affected by the briefings I’ve been able to attend regarding topics such as the health crisis of the disease NASH, the aforementioned immigrant family separations, the state of domestic violence in the U.S., and the struggles of people dealing with schizophrenia. Learning about these issues in greater detail and hearing testimonies from the people they directly affect has underscored a key personal theme of my time in Congressman Castro’s office: that politics should never be reduced to concerns of mere words and rhetoric, because the work done on Capitol Hill always has the potential to alter lives.
The environment of the Congressman’s office has been wonderful – my supervisor, the staffers, and my fellow interns are all incredibly supportive and dedicated to their work, and genuinely fun to work with. This experience has taught me so much about the workings of Congress and definitely bolstered my own interest in pursuing a career in public service. I cannot recommend this internship enough!
Jeremy Stepansky '21