Every new school year is an adventure, but for Kelly Shaw, the fall 2015 semester was especially exciting. The sophomore political science major landed an internship in the Washington, D.C., office of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, gaining an on-the-ground perspective on the day-to-day operations of national politics during the time he launched his campaign for U.S. President.
Kelly is extremely enthusiastic about her internship experience. “The staff was amazing. I had never worked with a kinder, more hard-working group of people. Everyone was very welcoming,” she says. Kelly and her fellow interns in Bernie’s office quickly dove into the varied work they were hired to do, such as answering the phones and talking to constituents, leading tours of the Capitol building, and attending briefings and rallies. Kelly say it was exciting to see politicians from both sides of the aisle whom she’s only seen in the paper or on TV “up close and personal.” She even managed to get a picture with a hero of hers, New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand, after a rally.
In addition to getting hands-on experience in Senator Sanders’ office, Kelly had a chance to explore the area. “I thoroughly enjoyed being a ‘tourist’ and exploring Washington, D.C. I went to the White House, visited the monuments and toured a number of museums. I was so grateful to have become so close to the other interns in the office. We spent weekends together exploring the area and eating great food. It was awesome!” She added, “I did of course miss Vermont and Johnson State College, but I was beyond grateful to get to spend the semester in D.C.!”
Kelly credits her experiences at JSC for helping her have this life-changing experience. “Johnson State College has provided me with a great education and has given me the support I needed to get an internship in the U.S. Senate! I experienced work in a fast-paced, professional environment and made positive connections with other people working on Capitol Hill. It really helped me set a foundation for my future. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work for Senator Sanders and thank JSC tremendously for the opportunity to take political science courses, get involved in clubs and activities on campus, and take on a Senate seat in student government.”
We’re glad to have Kelly back on campus now that she’s completed her internship in the nation’s capital, and we couldn’t be more proud of the way she represented JSC in the Washington, D.C., office of Senator Bernie Sanders this year!