Sarah J. Friedmann, Alumni '10
Internship-Washington Semester Program
"Life in DC for the past few months has been wonderfully crazy. I am attending American University through their Washington Semester Program while also living and working on the Hill. All of these endeavors have kept me very busy as well as provided me with some incredible experiences. I am an intern for Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on his Judiciary Committee staff. At work, I prepare for and staff Judiciary Committee hearings and business meetings as well as assist the chairman, Committee members, Committee staff, and witnesses in a variety of ways, including researching, writing letters, delivering legislation and mail, and conducting various administrative tasks, among other things. This opportunity has allowed me to meet many senators and administration officials as well as learn a great deal about how the legislative process veritably works. Learning how Washington works from a behind-the-scenes perspective has been incredibly valuable and endowed me with a great respect for everyone who helps contribute to the successful functioning of the government. I feel very lucky to be able to contribute in some small way through my work with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Outside of work, I have some amazing experiences as well. Last week I met Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with my class and even asked her a question! Our class is very field-based and has taken us all over D.C., from the Pentagon to the Speaker's Office to renowned think tanks and much more. We have had probably over 40 guest lecturers from all aspects of the American governmental/political scene and I have learned so much from each one of them.
In addition my work with the senate and class, I have kept myself very busy through working on my honors thesis, doing volunteer work, and of course trying to visit as many places as possible in D.C. Overall, my experience in D.C. has been amazing and full of surprises. I have met people and garnered insights that will impact me for the rest of my life. I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my semester here as well as to coming back to BW in the spring and sharing my experiences."