Nebraska Society Internship 2005

Internship: Senator Ben Nelson

In mid-May, I left my numerous teams at Morningside College to join a different team of sorts in Washington D.C. This team was United States Senator Ben Nelson’s, and for nearly two months, I interned for a politician I have admired since I was a kid and his hard working, committed staff. Throughout my internship, I experienced politics right in the crux of it all. I worked a block from the United States Capitol in the Hart Senate Office building. It was on Capitol Hill where this internship deepened my love for politics and increased my passion for political press. It is also where I grew as a person, journalist, and citizen, and learned more about the government on a larger scale.

I’m proud to say that my respect and admiration grew during this internship, and it was because Senator Nelson was an example of a good politician. I know many people think politics is dirty and corrupt, but seriously, there is a good side of politics, too, and I experienced it every day in the office.

It was good to be around an environment that consisted of hard workers. People looked out for each other, helped out one another, and got ahead when behind. We all played some part in this process, and because everyone did their part, tasks got accomplished. Overall, I was a part of team with a common goal. We helped Nebraska constituents and represented Senator Nelson to the best of our abilities every day.

My major duty was helping the press secretary, David, and deputy press secretary, Aaron. Each morning I gave the Senator news clips about him, Nebraska, and the nation. I also filed a lot of press clips.

On occasion I helped research for Senator Nelson’s speeches. Probably the most difficult job I did for these men was writing Congressional Record statements for fallen Nebraska soldiers. I typed up the transcripts of conference calls Senator participated in.

Answering constituent phone calls was another big job I had. I gave constituents tours of the U.S. Capitol Building. Words cannot describe what it felt like to walk inside the Capitol every day. It was incredibly awesome to teach my fellow Nebraskans about the nation’s capital.

The Nelson team took our teamwork skills outside of the office and placed them on a softball field. We joined Senator Bill Nelson of Florida’s staff and participated in slow-pitch softball.

The toughest thing I did during this internship was leave D.C. This was extremely hard to handle. The people I worked with are very dear to me because they understand how much I love our government and how much I admire Senator Nelson.

If there is one thing this internship did, it was change me and not for the worse, I believe. I became a better journalist and writer, gained confidence and aggressiveness, and became a better citizen and leader.

Being around political press every day expanded my knowledge, which helped my writing. Part of being a good journalist is learning how to be aggressive. The guys showed me, not by words, but by actions how important it is to be aggressive.

This internship was a privilege; not everyone gets an opportunity like this. I was incredibly honored to serve the Senator and the great state of Nebraska. This was a special team to be a part of, and I will always be thankful for the wonderful opportunity. I know they are doing their best to make a positive difference, and am glad, even if it was in some small way, I got to help in that process.