Purpose Found on Capitol Hill

If you would have told my younger self that I would work on Capitol Hill before I was 22  I would have thought you were crazy. However, I was blessed to be raised in a home that instilled the idea of what a privilege it is to grow up in a country where you have the freedom to dream and decide who you want to be.

Hannah posing at Capitol Hill

So, when I landed a summer internship with the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. this past summer, I knew it would be an experience that I would never forget.

As spring semester came to a close and everyone was beginning to start their summer break, I was moving to a new city to take on the responsibility of being a Legislative Intern for a member of Congress with The United States House of Representatives.

Taking a few days to get acquainted with my new way of life, I soon learned that each day was going to be filled with new opportunities to learn about the inner workings of the federal government and the legislative process.

Each day I was able to work closely with our legislative team to conduct research and aid on projects involving current legislation moving through the House.

It was eye opening to see the amount of people, determination and relentless work that goes into making the laws we abide by everyday firsthand. I quickly came to admire the amount of teamwork throughout the office and realized that nothing great is ever accomplished alone, for it takes a village.

Hannah at Capitol Hill

Constituent outreach was also a huge part of my role in the office. I spoke with the constituents of our congressional district daily in order to better understand their perspectives on issues as well as their needs back home in our district. I was humbled each day I came to work knowing that the work our office was conducting in Washington, D.C. was directly impacting the lives of people back home. 

I never once took for granted the privilege it was to get up every single day and engage in meaningful work on behalf of my fellow citizens at home and across the country. 

During my time on The Hill, I was able to witness some extremely historical events firsthand such as landmark Supreme Court decisions and impactful pieces of legislation moving through the Legislature.

In addition, I was able to see Congressmen and women be sworn into vacant congressional seats, eager to serve our country. I was at the center of the national stage and was able to attend receptions and events featuring the President of the United States, current and former Vice Presidents, senators, cabinet members and other leaders. I was privileged to meet and become friends with other interns from all over the country whom I know I will have as both future colleagues and friends for life.

Each of these experiences brought new perspectives and opportunities to learn about our democracy.

One of the most amazing experiences I had during my internship was the ability to see a bill sponsored by my congressman be signed into law. This was extremely fulfilling as most proposed pieces of legislation never actually go on to become law, to see the pride shared throughout the office was truly remarkable and a moment that I will never forget. 

In addition to my responsibilities in the office, I was also about to lead tours of the United States Capitol to our constituents who came to visit Washington, D.C. I was always so excited to give tours to people from home throughout the building that symbolizes freedom.

Hannah walking at Capitol Hill

From the Capitol Rotunda through National Statuary Hall, each time I walked through the Capitol I was always just as eager to share all I knew about its history with our guests. This was definitely a highlight of my internship on Capitol Hill. 

All of these experiences during my three months working on Capitol Hill solidified my desire to pursue a career in public service after graduation from Kent State University. It is because of this experience that I was able to fully realize my desire to pursue a career in public service to the American people. 

After graduation, I plan to move to Washington, D.C. to pursue that purpose and I couldn’t be more excited. A piece of advice I would give to others thinking of pursuing a career in public service after graduation is to simply go for it, our country needs more people like you. America is too great for small dreams!

Admissions Student Blog

POSTED: Sunday, April 16, 2023 09:06 AM
UPDATED: Saturday, May 25, 2024 09:59 PM
Hannah Balash