Committee on Homeland Security Internship in Washington DC
This summer, I had the privilege of interning at the House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security. Upon my ﬁrst week, I was fully immersed in the inner workings of a congressional committee. The most important characteristic I learned about the Committee on Homeland Security is that it is one entity made up of six very independent subcommittees that each focus on their own work while also coordinating between the subcommittees and other committees. The bulk of my work focused on written products, data reports, and research for all six subcommittees.
For the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security (BMS), I worked on material relating to visa overstays in the United States. The BMS Subcommittee allowed me to sit in on team meetings while also assigning me tasks of real work, rather than typical intern-level workI helped prepare a section of a memo that went out to both other Committee members and Congressmen interested in the hearing. These memos served to give a brief overview of the topic, such as the visa overstays, and included prior research, reports, and data regarding the topic. For these memos, I not only sifted through lengthy reports released by the Government Accountability Ofﬁce and other government organizations, but also created data tables that showcased and combined the information. For the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, I put out a weekly Zika virus update report that was sent to the subcommittee members who then passed on the information to the members of Congress. Likewise, I gathered data on the number of Zika virus cases spreading across the United States. For the Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efﬁciency, I analyzed a great amount of research and reports and then provided a summary and analysis of this information to the subcommittee members. For the Transportation Security subcommittee, I helped prepare for the hearing, “Long Lines, Short Patience: The TSA Airport Screening Experience.” For the Subcommittees on Cybersecurity and Counterterrorism, I helped prepare for the hearing “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland: ISIS and The New Wave of Terror.”
Besides working in a government building, this internship also provided me with a great number of other outside opportunities. With a great internship coordinator, I was able to get tours of several incredible places. These opportunities included an incredible tour of the East and West Wings of the White House, a bird’s eye view of Washington, D.C. from the Washington Monument, a tour of one of the nation’s top Fusion Centers, and a private tour of the Pentagon by the former head of the Navy Reserves. Likewise, within my work day, I made frequent trips to the Capitol Building and other House and Senate buildings through underground tunnels. My internship also extended into other hearings beyond the Committee on Homeland Security as I was able to sit in on the Senate hearings too. This internship went far beyond the ofﬁce and provided invaluable insight into the true nature of politics in Washington, D.C. As a whole, my summer internship not only improved my academic-level research abilities, but also connected me to valuable people who have great insight into the political and global scene of Washington, D.C.