Director's Interns will work in the fast-paced setting of the office of Congressman John Lewis (GA-05) and gain invaluable experience and knowledge of the United States Congress. Responsibilities include greeting constituents and visitors, handling phone calls, supporting staff with administrative tasks, conducting legislative research, aiding communications staff, and assisting with special projects and assignments. Applicants should have an interest in public service or government as demonstrated by coursework or extracurricular activities. Director's Interns must be hard-working and self-motivated, with exceptional written and verbal communication skills and strong attention to detail. While not a requirement, preference will be given to Georgia applicants, especially residents of Georgia's 5th District.
2015 Intern Reflection:
The basics of the job, like any congressional internship, consist mainly of interactions with constituents through phone calls, letters, and drop-in visits to the office from constituents (of which there are many). I was struck by how much constituents influence the workings of the office.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, however, there is ample opportunity to learn about the legislative process. The staff is fantastic and always eager to let an intern proactively seeking involvement to research on a policy area that interests them. I’ve gotten to go to briefings on topic as diverse as early education programs, new rules on retirement investing advice, and environmental justice.
Beyond the stimulating research work, some of the highlights of the internship have been getting to interact with the Congressman pretty much on a daily basis. Rep. Lewis is always remarkably cheerful and humble, making a point to greet the interns when he walks in and taking care to introduce us to exciting visitors to his office (the highlight from this summer being Nobel Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai.)
Working for Congressman Lewis’ office is a two-in-one proposition. Not only do you get to have the typical congressional interns experience and all it entails, you also get an education in the day-to-day life of a living icon. Watching and helping out while the Congressman and his staff seamlessly manage both the legislative duties of the office as well as Rep. Lewis’ “celebrity status”, is an invaluable experience and makes this internship far more than a congressional internship. I would highly recommend that anybody interested in public service, the political process, or history apply for this Director’s Internship.
Ramsey Fahs '18
2014 Director's Intern Reflection:
My experience in Congressman Lewis' office has demonstrated to me that the work of a congressional office (or at least this congressional office) is largely driven by the needs of that district's constituents. Going into the summer I knew that fielding calls from constituents was a large part of an intern's job, but it was refreshing to realize that the Congressman's office took his constituents' wants and needs very seriously, that those desires drove the Congressman's actions. Congress itself might be stuck in a log jam, but it renewed my faith in our political system that our elected representatives are working to be just that - representatives of, and for, the people.
The work environment in Congressman Lewis' office was fantastic. The people are friendly and helpful, making an effort to give the office's interns the best possible experience. The office culture is clearly a direct result of Congressman Lewis' generous and welcoming personality - he is the consummate Southern gentleman and everyone else follows his lead. I have had the chance to work on issues spanning from housing assistance to environmental protections for our district. Unsurprisingly, I have found that being proactive and seeking out projects has been a really effective way of becoming more involved in the office's work and its culture. I have attended a number of interesting briefings that take place on Capitol Hill all the time, and would certainly recommend that any future intern take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about a variety of issues, from detailed breakdowns of Supreme Court decisions to discussions on Brazil's position in the international community. An internship on the Hill is truly what you make of it, and I think Congressman Lewis' office really affords you the opportunity to have a great experience.
Mark Vandenberg '16
2013 Director's Intern Reflection:
Working for Rep. John Lewis (GA-5) here in Washington has been an experience I am not soon to forget. The typical day is sometimes long – our standard hours were 8:30 to 5:30 – but never short on opportunity. From shadowing the Congressman in interviews with the Washington Post or CNN to joining him on the steps of the Supreme Court to celebrate marriage equality, the summer has been full of chances to get up close and personal with Congress and the legislative process. I also had the chance to pursue a deeper involvement in healthcare issues, and helped our Senior Legislative Aide in drafting materials to assist constituents in switching to the new healthcare Marketplace this coming January. The job was challenging, but the Congressman’s dedicated staff was always there to assist me when I needed help and push me.
Erica Byas-Smith ‘15