Politics from the Ground Up

Get to know our Director's Interns taking on the world of politics and public service through internships this summer. 

Colby Stapleton '19 is a 2017 Director's Intern in the Office of Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA). Hailing from Davis, California, Colby is in Leverett House with a Government concentration. We caught up with Colby about her experience in the Congressman's Boston office.

What is your favorite part of your internship?

My favorite part of my internship has been being able to speak with constituents. I am in charge of answering phones and updating case work, so I get the chance to speak with many constituents in our district and learn more about their lives and the affect US politics has on them.
 
What is a typical day like in your office?
My typical day starts with updating case work. I check our data base to see if there are any cases I need to update, or follow up with. I then will get started working on a project; whether it's researching federal grants or contacting various organizations in the district. The other valuable part of my day is answering the phones. Most constituents call in order to get help with a particular government agency. It is a great way for me to learn more about different agencies, and just how important they are for many constituents.
 
Has your internship experience changed what you plan to do when you get back to campus or for your future plans?
My internship has inspired me to get more involved in politics. Because I work in a district office, I have gotten the chance to see the degree to which certain pieces of legislation affects our daily lives. I want to be able to use this knowledge to effect change.
 
What do you think the 3-5 most important things (skills, attitude, experiences, etc) young adults need to succeed in politics and public service today? Why?
I think the most important things young adults need to succeed in politics and public service are (1) care about what you are doing (2) patience (3) creativity. When working in a public service job, one of the most important skills is caring. If you care about what you do, it shows. You have to care about the work you are doing. Second, patience is important because you will often face challenges that take time to conquer. Being able to be patient, and wait for results is key. Lastly, creativity is very important. Creativity allows you to think outside of the box, and come up with different ways to solve problems.