UCDC Spring 2023: The Washington D.C Forest and the Journey as a Hilltern, Part 2

May 10, 2023

My time in Washington D.C was one of the most eye-opening experiences in my life. Each day I was able to be enveloped in the beauty of the city and challenge my writing and research abilities in my congressional internship for Representative Glenn Ivey of the fourth district of California. My final day in D.C. was a perfect representation of the fast and thrilling journey I experienced in D.C. On my final day I hit the ground running. My office had a tour of the Capitol building for 45 2nd graders and 6 chaperones. Only I and another intern were assigned to the tour, therefore I decided to go into the office an hour early to finish my daily tasks before taking off on this massive endeavor. As I walked to the metro station I could not stop thanking my lucky stars for the opportunity I was provided here in D.C. and I was so grateful that I was able to experience the beauty of the capital during spring. As I walked into the Longworth building I could see the iconic dome of the Capitol in the distance and my entire body experienced a sense of admiration and excitement as I had the first day I laid eyes on it back in January. The tour went off without a hitch but as soon as we were done I was off to a hearing for the Judiciary Committee where our congressman was going to go after Republican lawmakers' track record or lack thereof on gun reform. Once the hearing was over I had two coffee meetings with legislative directors for two different California offices. The final meeting was with a staffer who had walked the path I was hoping to follow, being a lawyer for a firm and then transitioning to public service. Every piece of advice he gave me was gold and I was so lost in the conversation that I lost track of time and my office was about to close for the day at 6:00pm. I thanked him for all his help and rushed frantically back to the office. As I opened the door every member of the staff was there standing with a champagne glass in hand and a smile, as they all screamed SURPRISE! It was a goodbye party for me and in the chaos of the day I had forgotten this was my last day. 

By joining the UCDC program I hoped to gain experience working in an office setting, having an insight into government work, and having first hand experience in the legislative process. This internship and my time in D.C helped me accomplish those goals and much more. At my goodbye party everybody was asking me what was my favorite part of my experience in D.C. and I told them that the opportunity alone was my most cherished moment. My entire college career I was working multiple jobs to stay afloat and support my family, therefore, I never had the opportunity to have an internship or join clubs, but UCDC changed all that as I was able to have access to a professional world unknown to me. My time in D.C. only strengthen my commitment to having a career in public service and I am eternally grateful to everybody who helped me make this a reality from the coordinators at UC Berkeley and the Matsui Center scholarship, to my family who has always supported my dreams.