ALEC Current, Former Students Intern on Capitol Hill
By: Mollie Lastovica
Four current students and one recent graduate of the ALEC department are making their mark on Capitol Hill this semester while serving as interns through the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program.
Senior agricultural communications and journalism student Brook Brock is interning with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At Texas A&M, Brock has been involved in ACT, Farmers fight, the Collegiate Chapter of NAACP and the African American Student Leadership Institute.
“Everyone in my office is nice and welcoming and do not hesitate to show me how things work around the office,” Brock says. “They have invited me to events and meetings that they attend to get a better feel of how all the agencies work together to make everything function here. The most rewarding and appreciated act has been from those in my office who have asked me what I am specifically interested in and encouraged me to get involved within those areas. I am truly thankful for them taking my interests into consideration.”
Katie Heinrich is a senior animal science and agricultural communications and journalism double major interning for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Heinrich has served on COALS Council as a T-Camp Counselor and an Aggie REP for the Animal Science Department.
“The ANRP program is well-established and known for the interns it brings to Capitol Hill,” Heinrich says. “There is a sense of pride knowing that my fellow interns and I are representing the best of A&M in the smallest of ways 4,000 plus miles away. It is definitely a different kind of independence and you gain the mentality of a young working professional. In today’s world, it is all about creating networks and these are by far some of the best contacts anyone could choose to meet and surround him or herself with.”
A May 2012 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism, Lindsay Garrett is interning with the House Committee on Agriculture. Garrett was actively involved in ACT, ALEC Aggie Reps and Impact as a student.
“Learning the way the government works and understanding the process has been a challenge. We had our first week of session last week and that was interesting to be part of,” Garrett says. “You can’t be afraid to ask questions and make the first move here in order to learn what you need to know.”
Agricultural leadership and development senior Megan Moore is working as an intern for Congressman Pete Olson. Moore has worked with various organizations on campus including Maggies, Class Councils and Fish Camp.
“I can’t fully predict how this internship will impact my future career, but I know that I am changed because of it,” Moore says. “Being an intern has taught me the importance of listening. The skill of active listening is one that I will bring to my lifestyle, not just my career.”
Rachel Walther is interning for Congressman Jeb Hensarling. Walther is involved with the International Association of Agricultural Students, the COALS Study Abroad Mentor Program and the Society of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.
Heather Wheeler, Director of Public Policy Internships at Texas A&M, has helped coordinate and facilitate countless Aggies in D.C. during her time on campus. She has seen, firsthand, the impact of congressional internships on student lives.
“The ANRP Internship Program positively impacts the lives of participants,” Wheeler says. “It truly allows someone to ‘try-on’ a career before committing to it. Additionally, participants gain real-world experience and skills they will utilize every day once they enter the professional world. As a former participant, I found this experience on my resume was extremely attractive to interviewers.”
Applications for the 2013 spring and summer ANRP internships are available now. To learn more about the program and how to apply,click here.