By Stephanie Stich JMC '12
Working in the Capitol during an election season is a special experience, one I feel fortunate to have. Just talking about it can make an SMPA student's heart beat a little quicker and an SMPA professor nod with approval and pride. When I landed an internship with Congressman James Himes (CT-4), I was excited to get a first-hand look at our democracy in action. I felt a great sense of responsibility to work alongside his constituents and my own neighbors to resolve problems and bring attention to voter concerns. I worked closely with the press secretary, who - to my surprise - was a recent SMPA grad. Right away, I felt at home in that Cannon building office. I gathered and distributed the daily press clippings to send to constituents and gave tours around the Capitol to visiting guests. I listened in and took notes on important hearings, saw John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi speak on the Capitol steps and passed Eric Holder in the hallway. I even got to park my little car in the Capitol garage! SMPA allowed me the privilege to say I worked on "the Hill" - an opportunity that most journalism students only dream about. And for that I'm grateful and ready to take on new challenges in my life and career.