How She Got That Internship is a series that highlights conservative women’s internships in various organizations and positions to inspire the next generation of conservative women to lead. Did you, or a young woman that you know, have an internship experience you want to share with our readers? Submit it in this form and we will contact you if we think it would be a great fit for the series.

This was certainly a weird season for internships–with the global pandemic making a lot of internships go virtual. Thinking about the future, girls across the country are dutifully working to prepare for the internships they have landed and thinking ahead to future internships and jobs. FFL is sitting down with a number of interns to reflect on the best internships they’ve had and inspire others to try new things, step outside of their comfort zone, and be the best intern they can be.

Today, we’re talking to Hannah, who interned for Sen. McConnell’s office in Louisville, KY.

Hannah was raised on a small farm in Lexington, Kentucky. She’s a sophomore at the University of Louisville double majoring in political science and communications. Hannah is  a member of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, Turning Point USA, College Republicans and FOCUS Catholic group. Her internship experience includes the Kentucky Office of the Governor Matt Bevin, Republican Party of Kentucky, TeamMitch, and the United States Senate. After graduating, she plans on moving to Washington D.C to pursue a career in government affairs or political broadcasting.

Can you tell us about the role of a legislative intern?

In my role as a Legislative Intern, I primarily worked with Kentucky constituents by answering phone calls, taking opinions, logging complaints or policy concerns, drafting responses, and assisting with federal casework. On some occasions I would perform office operations like gathering mail, organizing news clips, and escorting visitors.

Have you ever interned in Congress before?

No, this was my first internship with Congress.

How did you find out about the internship opportunity and what was the application process like?

I learned about this internship because I worked as an intern with Team Mitch (the Senator’s campaign) while I was home over the summer in 2020. When I had to move back to Louisville for the fall semester, I became aware of an opening in his Louisville district office. I applied directly through the Senator’s office and had a phone interview with his State Director.

What sort of skills or experiences helped you stand out as an applicant and succeed in this position?

Connections within the political network! I had previous work experience for several other politicians which helped me stand out as an experienced candidate in this field. Also, I was involved in several clubs and organizations throughout high school where I held leadership positions, and I think that greatly contributes to internships! 

Did you get a chance to meet Sen. McConnell? What was he like?

Yes! I first met him at a campaign rally when I interned for his campaign. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Sen. McConnell several times in this internship including eating dinner with him at a Lincoln-Reagan Dinner and visits to the district office. The Senator is very intelligent! He remembered my name and took time to have a conversation with me about how I was doing, my internship experience, and what his constituents were saying.

What was a typical day like there? How did you balance your intern work with school, other activities, etc?

My office was in a Federal Courthouse a few minutes away from my college apartment. Typically, I would go to work 3 days a week from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Due to COVID most of my classes were online so I was only on campus two days a week. I’m also a dog mom to a little goldendoodle, so for anyone else out there who worries about how to manage a pet on top of work and school, I can say that it is possible! I took my pup to a daycare on days I would work which was great because he was always worn out when I picked him up after work.

Were there other interns that you worked closely with? How did that impact your work–were you in teams, bullpens, collaborating on projects, etc?

I was the only intern in his Louisville office and the only intern in general because of COVID for a while. Therefore, I got to assist his D.C staff as well. Most projects I did were done solo or with help of the Staff Assistant.

What was the biggest WOW moment of your internship?

When I was able to eat dinner with the Senator at a Lincoln Day Dinner. Attending the dinner as a student was a great experience, but being able to meet with the Senator, his staff, and other stakeholders was the highlight of my internship.

What kind of mentorship did you receive during your internship?

I received a lot of mentorship from the State Director and members of his district office staff. They were always so kind to include me in events, updates, and asked how my life was going. I think the people made my internship the most enjoyable!

What was the most valuable lesson you learned during your internship?

How to be professional. When working in constituent services, you face lots of situations with conflicting views and personalities.  I ALWAYS represent the senator, therefore I needed to remain calm, collected, and always available to help.

What are three tips you would have for someone else doing an internship in a Senate office?

  1. Be ready to step in and help with projects in all areas.

  2. You will make a LOT of connections during the internship that will help you afterwards! So many former interns now work full-time on the Hill.

  3. Any task small or large does not go unnoticed, so always put your best foot forward!

What’s next for you? How did this internship shape your career plans, your academics, or your idea of what you wanted to do after graduation?

My next step is to obtain more political/government internships in different fields to narrow my desired path of work after graduation. This internship introduced me to the various job opportunities with a Congressional office in D.C or a district office. I got to see first-hand the tasks of various positions which helped me get an idea of what area I would like to possibly pursue!

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member