A once-in-a-lifetime learning experience

By U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa


As you prepare for finals and look ahead to summer jobs, don’t miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Have you ever considered working on Capitol Hill? My U.S. Senate office offers internship opportunities that will give you hands-on work experience in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment. Internships are open to all college-age students of any academic major.

For students who want to learn more about how government works, or who would like to work as a congressional staffer or even run for public office someday, I offer internships in my Senate offices in Iowa and Washington, D.C. Over the course of nearly four decades, approximately 1,000 students have interned in my offices, helping them launch careers in their fields of choice, including law, government, health care, agriculture and education. Many students who interned with my office returned later as full-time congressional staff members.

Students interested in applying for my congressional internships often ask about the duties of an intern. The internship experience in my office is as diverse as the students participating. Students work beside experienced staff members and learn directly what day-to-day life is like for a congressional staffer.

Students who are placed in the press department observe interviews with local, state, and national reporters. They work with social media, monitor news as it happens, and even have opportunities to write press releases and op-eds. Students who are placed in the policy department get to see how an idea is transformed into law step-by-step. They learn how to conduct in-depth research, meet with issue advocates, and sit in on committee hearings and meetings. Students placed in the administrative and scheduling department are able to help plan events, such as my 99-county meetings. They also learn about the scheduling process of a congressional office and help Iowans plan visits to Washington or get in touch with federal agencies.

Students who apply are able to list their department preference. My staff works hard to place students in their desired department, but even when students don’t receive their first choice, they receive an internship experience that will equip them with new skills, connections, and information to succeed in a professional setting.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate president pro tempore, my office is a busy one. Interns work in a fast-paced work environment that serves as a primer for life after graduation. The more students put into their internship experience, the more they will receive. Many interns also form friendships that last long after their internships are complete.

Internships are offered during the spring and fall semesters in a 16-week session. Summer internships are divided into two six-week sessions to accommodate a larger pool of applicants. Intern spots are available in my Washington office as well as my six state offices in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Sioux City, and Waterloo. Many schools offer course credit for internships, so students interested in applying, particularly during the spring or fall semester, should ask their academic advisers about available opportunities. Stipends are available for Iowa students applying for a position in the Washington office to help offset travel and living expenses. Remember, any academic major or field or study may apply. Our offices regularly accept interns from a variety of backgrounds, which enriches the experience and challenges students to think outside the box and consider new ideas.

The future of this nation will soon be in the hands of the next generation. My internship program aims to inspire, teach and prepare our future leaders for the challenges ahead. I encourage any student interested in a path of service to consider applying.

Students may contact Josie Wagler at josie_wagler@grassley.senate.gov to apply and learn more about internship opportunities with Sen. Grassley’s office.