5 Tips for Legislative Interns

Are you thinking about doing a legislative intern in Washington, D.C.?

Clayton Bush, a College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) senior, has been a legislative intern for two congresswomen through VP Promise funding and the Loop Legislative Internship Program. Last summer, Bush, a family, youth and community sciences (FYCS) student, worked under Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Florida House. Currently, he is spending his final undergraduate semester under Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Bush has a few tips for students working on Capitol Hill for the first time.  

Tip #1: Immerse yourself in the internship and your legislator. 

“It’s crucial to immerse oneself in the congresswoman’s priorities, policies and communication strategies. This is vital to help you create effective communication materials.” 

Tip #2: Sharpen your writing skills. 

“From drafting press releases and statements to speeches and social media posts, the ability to convey information clearly and concisely is invaluable. Knowing how to match your congresswoman’s voice and style ensures consistency across all communications.” 

Tip #3: Network. 

“Building and nurturing relationships with media outlets, journalists and stakeholders is another vital aspect of this role. Actively reaching out to media contacts, pitching stories and organizing press events contribute to amplifying the congresswoman’s message and increasing visibility for her work. Building connections with fellow interns and staff members across different offices also fosters a supportive and collaborative environment.” 

Tip #4: Be flexible and adaptable. 

“The fast-paced environment of Capitol Hill demands quick responses to evolving situations. Being prepared to assist with tasks such as social media management, research, event planning and constituent outreach, ensures effective support for the office’s operations.” 

Tip #5: Stay organized.  

“Managing time effectively helps in juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities. Things like planners and digital apps can help you keep everything together in this fast-paced environment.”  

The VP Promise offers financial support to students engaging in experiential learning opportunities within agriculture, natural resources and related sciences. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is dedicated to fostering student development and success, encouraging students to expand their horizons through participation in study abroad programs, leadership roles, scholarly conferences, and other enriching experiences. 


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Posted: March 18, 2024

Category: Professional Development, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Family Youth And Community Sciences, Internship, Legislative Intern, VP Promise

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