UCDC Spring 2024: From Campus to Capitol: An Intern's Odyssey Across the Nation

March 7, 2024

Interning for Senator Padilla’s office has been incredibly surreal and undoubtedly the highlight of my college journey. This marks my second visit to the East Coast, where I’ve not only adapted to the chilly weather, but also gained newfound confidence in making professional decisions. I have quickly fallen in love with the vibrant and driven culture of Capitol Hill, and I have come to appreciate the importance of networking and relationship building. Just last week, I had the privilege of engaging in four consecutive 30-minute coffee chats, reinforcing the importance of establishing connections. Similarly, my intern cohort had the privilege of participating in a “brown bag” — a Q&A with Senator Alex Padilla, where I asked him what the most valuable piece of advice he had received for his career was and he reminded me of what I had been hearing for weeks: building and maintaining relationships. 

As a part of the UCDC program, I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in the rich environment of Washington, D.C. Unlike my experiences back at UC Berkeley, where I struggled to build strong relationships with my housemates, I have been able to quickly create lasting memories. We have been able to taste Washington DC’s spirited atmosphere: attending parades, visiting museums, and engaging in its lively nightlife. I have also formed connections with other UC students from various campuses, enriching my experience in unexpected ways. Aside from these adventures, I am often exploring local shops and have rapidly fallen in love with the historical area, including the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. 

As I reach the midpoint of the program, I am deeply thankful to be a Matsui Washington Fellow. The support I have received has not only allowed me to contribute to my state and nation, but has also fostered a personal and professional growth, creating unforgettable memories.