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My Summer Internship

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2020) Permanent link   All Posts
Courtney Gilliam

I was privileged to be selected for the legislative internship in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill. When applying for this internship everything about it spoke to me as I love to meet new people and find public policy fascinating. As a Government major on the public policy & law track I knew it would be very beneficial to see how my government classes would apply outside of the classroom and the challenges of policy and congressional affairs in real time. In addition, I have a desire further down in my Coast Guard career to be in congressional affairs so this was the perfect opportunity to get an insight into this particular field.

In the beginning of my internship, I met tons of people from congress from districts all over the country. I worked on congressional inquiries from constituents and helped plan itineraries for congressional trips where everything is planned to the minute to not only ensure the success of the trip but also to continue the high standard of the Coast Guard House and Senate offices known for their thoroughness. On these congressional trips we help educate staffers and/or congressmen on the Coast Guard’s missions by taking them to different Coast Guard units and cutters all over the world. I have also been to a lot of events as well, from breakfasts thrown by caucuses, a Women in Military Memorial Service event, a Joint Service Social Event, happy hours with rooftop views of the Capitol, and more. Happy hours are a great way to network and meet people in congress outside of the office in an informal setting and helps to build relationships. I have learned in this internship that the foundation of this job rests on the relationships you build and people you know, so networking is essential. I have sat in on meetings and attended a congressional hearing where Admiral Schultz testified on behalf of the Coast Guard. I updated and created new spreadsheets in the office to help organize and keep track of office activities. I also made a point to tour and visit some of the great museums and sights in the city as this summer is a great opportunity to see as much as I can and be a part of the great Capital City.