November 2, 2011

NIAC Summer Senior Fellow: My Washington, DC Experience


Nazanin TondraviWashington, DC – My summer on Capitol Hill was a very rewarding experience and I was honored to work on Capitol Hill, something most people don’t get to do. During my time in the Congresswoman’s office, I worked on policy issues and attended hearings, which can become stepping stones to a future in government and policymaking. The pace on Capitol Hill is fast and I quickly adjusted to the pressures of meetings deadlines for completing research and memos for the Congresswoman’s public appearances. I was also able to take advantage of the numerous training sessions available to Capitol Hill staff and interns. I refined my research and writing skills and also completed research training through the Congressional Research Service.

The internship program also gave me the chance to meet and observe staff members involved at all levels and areas of the House. We had meetings with the Congresswoman in her office during which we discussed hot topics and our future plans. The experience was unforgettable.

I also appreciated the opportunity to meet other Iranian-American students through NIAC. The events NIAC hosted for us allowed us to find out about other Fellows’ experiences and network within our community. Washington, D.C. is a competitive place, so it was great to have the support of the NIAC staff and other Summer Fellows.

Overall, my summer in Washington, D.C. sparked a political flame within that I plan on pursuing in the future. I left my experience in the Congresswoman’s office with a new appreciation for what every good government official sets out to do when he or she wakes up in the morning. The internship helped me to better understand legislation and how it relates to my major in health policy studies. I left with a new understanding of the complicated legislative system, the importance of reaching compromise among many diverse interests, and a passion for participating in the political system. I left Washington, D.C. with new skills, excellent experience and many new friends. I am grateful for the opportunity NIAC provided me and I hope future Fellows have a similar, positive experience.




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