UCDC Spring 2023: The Washington D.C Forest and the Journey as a Hilltern, Part 1

March 12, 2023

Taking part in the UCDC program was one of my main goals for my academic career since the first day I transferred to UC Berkeley. Public service is a field I have been interested in for a long time, but due to my circumstances I did not have the opportunity to be in that environment, therefore UCDC was the perfect program because I would be able to continue in my academic work while simultaneously getting the government experience I’ve been looking for. I wanted nothing more than to have an internship on the hill and to my surprise that was much easier said than done. I began to apply for internships on the hill as early as November and I only focused on congress because I did not want to work anywhere else. After multiple applications and some stressful late nights I finally got my first interview with the office of Congressman Glenn Ivey of the 4th District of Maryland and after two interviews I was offered the positon and I felt a giant weight come off my shoulders. 

Working on the hill was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Every single day is incredibly exciting and fulfilling. In the beginning I was concerned that I would only be left in charge of busy office work and not really get to participate in the government work I was so passionate about but from day one that was not my experience at all. Maryam the office staff assistant is incredible, she has made it her personal mission to make sure that me and the other two interns in the office are constantly in the thick of the action. On day one we visited the Capitol building and for the first time in my life I got to see our representatives voting on the house floor. Then we were part of a strategy session to prepare statements for the congressman's speech in the homeland security hearing where he would be squaring off against congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. It is incredible to have the benefit of working with so many professionals in a field I want to be part of for my career and every morning I have the privilege to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself to be better.