Company/Organization: United States Congressman Bill Pascrell
Topic of Internship
United States Congress is the bicameral legislative branch of the United States Government. There is both the House of Representative as well as the Senate within Congress. Each state is granted 2 senators regardless of size, and senators serve six-year terms. Each state is apportioned a particular number of representatives in the House based on the state’s population, and representatives serve two-year terms. From the very establishment of the United States, Congress was created as a means of creating a system to represent Americans in the law-making process. In American politics, two main parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, dominate the system. Though these two parties are entirely disparate in ideals and values, members of Congress all must assist their constituents with government-related issues and empower them.
Summary of Internship
Congressman Bill Pascrell has represented New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District from January of 1997 until the redistricting of January 2013. Currently, as Congressman of the 9th Congressional District of New Jersey, Congressman Pascrell is responsible for 35 municipalities that stretch throughout Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic County. As a Congressional intern for Congressman Pascrell, I would begin my day by photocopying the local news clippings that the Communications Director marked and then fax the documents to the D.C. office. Afterwards, I typically would be assigned an assignment from my mentor. These assignments always varied in magnitude, which was an element of my internship that managed to always captivate my interest. One week, I had to call myriad schools in our Congressional District to entice them into participating in our Congressional Art Show. Another week, I was assigned an article to write on behalf of the Congressman that analyzed and highlighted the benefits of the FAST ACT, a bill that the Congressman passed to create more funds for internal improvements. Though these assignments were varied, writing on behalf of the Congressman to a particular group or constituent within the community was a common theme. In addition to these assignments, I was responsible for dealing directly with constituents both on the phone and in person and for helping other members of the office. By immersing myself in a Congressional atmosphere every week, I learned how a Congressional office runs and helps constituents. Professionalism and responsibility are crucial traits to exude in an intern position at a Congressional office, as your actions are representative of the office as a whole. I was extremely fortunate enough to have secured this internship. I am leaving this internship with a formidable understanding of the nuances of government as well as a series of warm friendships.
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