Katherine Yagle, Class of 2012

Major: American Studies; Organization: Office of Jay Inslee, United States Congressman; Location: Washington, DC

Katherine Yagle, Class of 2012Interning in the House of Representatives is a different experience in every office. Working for Jay Inslee, who represents the 1st Congressional District of Washington State, has been so much fun. It's a pretty laid-back office and the staff are really young (most are under 28) so it's an exciting environment to work in. Interns work from 9 to 5 and what we're expected to do varies a lot from day to day. On a busy week, we'll give tours of the Capitol to constituents, collect signatures from other Representatives for bills or letters Congressman Inslee is working on, do research for his legislative assistants on bills they're drafting or considering cosponsoring, and write letters to constituents. During recess or on days when there are no votes, the schedule is slower-paced. We enter faxes into an online system, answer phones calls, and help out with any projects that legislative assistants or legislative correspondents ask us to. I find even the most menial office tasks really interesting though--sorting mail means learning about all the bills going through Congress, answering phone calls means getting to find out all the issues that constituents are concerned about, and sorting faxes gives insight onto how NGOs, the White House, Congress, and constituents all interact. This internship is amazing. I have learned so much--office skills, the entire history of the Capitol, how to write a letter to a government official. But more than any of those things, I have truly gotten to see how our government functions--and all the ways it needs to be improved.