- Interned at: Office of U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar
- Participated: Fall 2019
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenhaverlock/
Tell us about your internship – what kind of work did you do? What did you find rewarding?
This past fall, I had the opportunity to intern for Representative Pete Aguilar (CA-31). I was primarily responsible for addressing constituent correspondence in the form of phone calls, in-person interaction, and letters. I drafted individual letter responses to constituents informing them further on the subject of concern and the Congressman’s stance on related pieces of legislation. I also attended briefings and transcribed notes into comprehensive memos for senior staff.
During my tenure, I was trusted and relied upon to expand these duties during a period of transition between supervisors. The amount of daily written and verbal exchanges allowed me to augment my writing, policy research capabilities and ability to interface in a professional manner. Before starting my internship, it seemed daunting to take on such unfamiliar tasks, but it was so rewarding to see that my office required interns to function properly!
Have your career or life goals changed as a result of your internship? If so, how?
Prior to my internship, I knew I wanted to get my J.D. I had done quite a bit of research about practicing environmental and intellectual property law. Still, I was unsure about what working in either field would entail and assumed that my future studies would allow me to find a suitable specialization.
I am still pursuing a career as an attorney and am currently studying for the LSAT! My internship revealed a passion for public interest law. Knowing this allows me to narrow down the schools I'd like to apply for, and I am seeking a part-time position in a public interest law group in the meantime.
Share an exciting memory from your internship – something unexpected, an accomplishment, someone you met.
I was an intern during the peak of the impeachment process and experienced a very dynamic and polarized political climate. I attended a hearing regarding the House impeachment articles as well, led by Representative Adam Schiff.
Did your internship lead to any opportunities?
Even though I ultimately decided to return to California, I can say that working on the Hill opens up so many opportunities to further your engagement in public policy! I remain in touch with all of the staffers in my office, and have talked to three of them about pursuing legislative work here in California.
Share a story about something special you did in Washington – an event you attended, a place you went, an exciting talk, etc.
I attended the House Financial Services Committee hearing regarding Facebook's plans to launch Libra (cryptocurrency platform). Mark Zuckerberg attended the hearing and I somehow got into the press section and ended up in the front row!
How has living in the nation’s capital for a quarter changed you?
My time in D.C. solidified my work ethic and self-confidence. I feel as though I always exceeded the expectations of my role, and this habit has permeated all aspects of my life. I grew to be more assertive and dead set on my political beliefs. Living in the nation's capital, I was immersed in history and politics in a way that can't be replicated. The rush of the city and the culture of professionalism are so contagious. Washington constantly moves at a mile a minute and personal development is vital to keep up.
The personal growth I experienced was so accelerated that it was subconscious. I evolved to meet the demands of my internship and the pace of the city. While doing this, I was occupied with class and exploration, and felt sometimes I didn't have a second to breathe. But, once it was all over and I was packing up my dorm and saying goodbye to my new lifelong friends, I realized that the person I was when I moved in was unrecognizable in the best way possible.
Do you have any advice for future UCDC students?
I recommend taking advantage of all of the networking opportunities, Listservs, hearings, and Congressional briefings while interning on the Hill. Also, rent a ZipCar if you can!