Sofia Hay is a senior at IU majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology with a certificate in Political and Civic Engagement. Last Spring, Sofia was fortunate enough to secure an internship in Washington D.C. for the House of Representatives. Here, Sofia was a legislative intern for Congresswoman Gwen Moore and through this experience she was able to learn about the legislative process and inner workings of Congress. As an intern, Sofia collaborated with the Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, and Legislative Assistants, performing research on legislative issues and drafting memos following her attendance of hearings and briefings. Furthermore, Sofia writes that a critical part of her role was to act as a liaison between constituents and the Congresswoman by conveying her stance through letters, as well as conducting outreach to other Congressional offices and external organizations. Although her internship was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sofia says that with the connections she made on Capitol Hill, she has positive hopes of being able to return after graduation.
How did this experience impact you personally and professionally?
“My experience increased my industry knowledge and professional skills such as communication and writing. I personally made great connections that will benefit me in my future career path.”
What were some of the most rewarding parts of this experience?
“I feel beyond privileged for the opportunities that I was provided throughout my internship. The briefings, hearings, and other external events were beyond compare. Interacting with and listening to Representatives speak was extremely rewarding.”
What did you learn about the industry?
“My time in the U.S. House of Representatives increased my understanding on the legislative process and underscored how significant of an impact non-governmental organizations have on advising policy-making.”
What do you wish you would have known before you started this position? Or what would you tell others before they start an internship?
“I wish I had had a better understanding of how to network and ‘get coffee’ with people. That was a huge thing on the Hill that I got a late start at because I did not know how to initially approach connecting with someone in that way.”
What did receiving this Internship Scholarship mean to you?
“This Internship Scholarship meant that I had less of a financial burden while working and living in a major city. It helped to make the entire opportunity possible. While I was fortunate enough to have a paid internship, I was still making under minimum wage. The cost of living in Washington D.C. is quite high and was something that I was nervous about when heading into the internship. With this internship scholarship, I had less financial stress amid the stress of working 45-hour weeks and being a full time student. I am very grateful and feel very fortunate that I was awarded this internship scholarship.”