Intern, Office of Majority Leader, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer
Class Year: 2023
What was a typical week like in your internship position?
A typical week virtually interning with the Office of Congressman Hoyer involves answering incoming calls, addressing constituent requests for general information, and assisting with various administrative duties. I am responsible for distinguishing legislative calls from casework calls and logging them into the system appropriately. My role is to ensure that requests for assistance are directed to appropriate staff members in a timely manner in order to maintain the efficiency of the office. Moreover, I provide assistance in handling casework assignments and I generate drafts for constituent greetings, casework correspondence, and letters of support when needed. Although I am tasked with a variety of duties, my main responsibility throughout the week is to listen to the issues of Congressman Hoyer’s constituents and non-constituents in order to help bring them justice.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
Although I enjoy everything about my position at the Office of Congressman Hoyer, my favorite aspect is providing guidance to constituents and working to address their pressing concerns during these unprecedented times. Whether it is a problem regarding immigration status, unemployment, or veteran assistance, I am able to provide a variety of resources. It is so rewarding to make a difference in the lives of Congressman Hoyer’s constituents by guiding them through the legal procedures behind opening a case and contacting their caseworker. I thoroughly enjoy serving the Southern Maryland community and working to mitigate the hardships that people are facing as a result of COVID-19. I have the opportunity to represent Congressman Hoyer and reassure his constituents, along with non-constituents, that their voice is heard and that it matters. Overall, the communication and service aspect of my position are my favorite as I get to build strong community ties and help citizens with their needs.
How did your coursework help you in your internship?
One of the main responsibilities of my internship is to help constituents of Maryland’s 5th district address issues they may have with federal agencies. The courses and scholarship in my Justice and Legal Thought Scholars program have provided me with a foundation to understand the larger inequalities that have caused the issues these citizens face. For instance, issues relating to unemployment, citizenship, and educational resources are connected to larger injustices that disproportionately impact citizens. In addition to assisting constituents and opening cases, the second most important responsibility of my internship involves listening to the legislative concerns of citizens across the country. In my previous three semesters of my scholars’ program, I have written various essays about legislation and political controversies. This experience has prepared me to listen to and communicate the support, or disapproval, citizens may have about bills regarding gun control, minimum wage, immigration, healthcare, and much more.
How did you locate your internship position?
I located my internship on the Careers4Terps website, which provides thousands of opportunities for students seeking internships, part-time jobs, or full-time jobs. These positions are both on- and off-campus and they are specific to UMD students and alumni. Moreover, the Careers4Terps website allows for the online storage of resumes, cover letters, and other important documents that may be needed for an internship/job application. It is also important to note that this valuable resource provides a calendar filled with career programs, workshops, fairs, and employer events. This internship opportunity was recommended for me based on my career interests in my profile, which involve politics, criminal justice, law, and other related subjects. I then attended an information session for the Office of Congressman Hoyer and applied through the website with my resume and cover letter.
Advice for students:
Some advice that I have for students seeking a congressional internship would be to have a detailed and thorough cover letter, as well as an organized resume filled with professional experience or on-campus involvement. These are the most important documents that employers review and it is beneficial to make your resume and cover letter stand out from others. In searching for a congressional internship, you can research the website of your local representative, or a representative of your choice, to see what specific internship opportunities they have available on their website. Some aspects to consider before accepting an internship are your work availability, career goals, and the benefits of that position. I strongly recommend networking with your intern coordinator, co-workers, or other staff members to make the most of your internship and to see what further opportunities or career paths are available.
Overall, my internship at the Office of Congressman Hoyer is an unparalleled experience that has provided me with an array of skills and knowledge that are beneficial for my future career path. I had the opportunity to apply my previous knowledge of social justice issues to constituent calls in order to understand the depth of their problems in dealing with federal agencies. Moreover, I communicated legislative concerns relating to nationwide injustices to Congressman Hoyer by utilizing the knowledge obtained in my government and law-related courses. Lastly, I was able to demonstrate my understanding of the justice system by helping constituents navigate the legal processes behind completing a privacy release form and opening a case. I would highly recommend this monumental opportunity to any student interested in government and politics, or the legal system in general.