Taylor Hardy, a sophomore majoring in accounting, recently completed an internship with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in his D.C. office.
During her time in D.C. she conducted legislative research, gave Capitol tours to constituent groups, attended committee meetings and assisted the staff with ?daily needs.
“Sen. Shelby’s office was really good about encouraging you,” Hardy said. “They didn’t just want you to do gopher things all day, every day.”
Shelby said his internship program gives students real experience in ?national politics.
“The Congressional Internship Program provides students with a first-hand view of public service that brings their classroom studies to life,” Shelby said. “The internship experience is crafted to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the?federal government and to gain a greater understanding of our nation’s legislative process. I am confident that these young men and women will go on to achieve great things.”
Hardy said she was encouraged by a friend who completed an internship with Shelby. While not completely sure if she wants a career in government, Hardy said never say never, but she’s grateful for the fact that she learned a lot about how everyday government works from a responsible citizen’s stand point.
“Many of our past interns have pursued careers in government – some have returned to Sen. Shelby’s office while others have worked for Sen. Sessions, various house and senate committees, the House of Representatives or state government,” said Torrie Miller, communications director for Shelby’s office. “U.S. Reps. Martha Roby and Terri Sewell previously interned in Sen. Shelby’s office.”
The internship is primarily geared toward undergraduate students ages 19-23, who attend one of Alabama’s universities, but will occasionally host interns in graduate school. Demographically, there’s a nearly even mix of male and female students, Miller said.
The application can be found on Shelby’s website for approximately four months each year. When the period has passed, Shelby’s staff reviews each student’s qualifications, and works with the senator to make the selections based on academics, involvement in service organizations, ?references and strength of writing demonstrated on the application essays.
The internship program consists of three sessions lasting approximately one month during the months of May,?Juneand July.