Chronicles of a capitol hill intern (now full-time hill staffer) — part three

This post continues the series highlighting the helpful steps law students can take to go from intern to full-time position on the Hill. Below is the remainder of the Q & A with the intern after she learned that she was successful in securing a full-time paid position on the Hill.

LJ:  What was the most important step you took to secure your job?

Staffer:  I found out that the Senator for whom I wanted to work was speaking at an event geared toward younger Hill staffers (and others).  I went to go see him and stayed after his speech to meet his LC.  I gave her the same (e-mail) speech that I am interested in meeting with her for a couple of minutes over coffee to talk about her path and any advice she may have.  I also brought a copy of my resume to the speech [ALWAYS BRING AN UPDATED COPY OF YOUR RESUME EVERYWHERE] and asked if she would take my resume even though they may not be looking and do not normally take people out of school.  I told her I was willing to work as an unpaid intern for the Senator.

She agreed to take my resume and meet with me.  I was offered an internship position with the Senator's office shortly thereafter.  A week or so later I was offered the opportunity to interview for the full-time staff position (with the same office).

LJ:  What simple advice (that someone might have overlooked) can you give someone that is trying to follow your footsteps?

Staffer:  It may sound obvious but anytime I went to the Senator's office, I always made it a point to be really nice to the people at the front desk.  The girl at the front desk ended up being in my interview for the full-time position.  Another tip is that the networking strategy of reaching out to people to seek advice is not just an excuse to meet them for a potential job.  The advice I received from each meeting really helped me along the way.  See below.

LJ:  What advice did you receive that was particularly helpful?

Staffer:  One of the chief of staffs I met told me to "do little things."  He said what makes a staffer great is "attention to detail, come in 5 minutes early, leave late, have a great attitude, a sense of humor, and do not think any task in beneath you."

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