As a former Hill intern, I have had my share of run-ins with arrogant interns who think that they are important. One specific intern, however, amazed me with his complete detachment from reality regarding his importance and skills as a Senate intern. For one, he always made sure to correct anyone who referred to him as an "intern." Upon meeting him, I made this mistake and was swiftly corrected: "Actually, I'm the fellow for Senator ___'s Office. I get paid a stipend and I don't have to do any of the menial intern tasks." Against my better judgment, I continued to talk to the "fellow," only to discover that he was even more self-important than I first imagined. He told me about how he had just ordered 500 business cards with his name and the Senate seal (which he had to pay for since, while he may disagree, he was not paid staff). We then began to discuss our plans after college graduation.
Me: So do you want to come back and work on the Hill after graduation? Fellow (read: Intern): Hopefully I'm going to work for whoever takes Senator Burris' seat in 2010. Me: (Knowing that the intern works for a Southern Senator) That's interesting. Why Illinois? Fellow: Well since it will be a new Senator, I'll have a better chance at getting hired. Me: Okay, so you want to be a staff assistant or LC or something? Fellow: (as serious as could be) No, Foreign Affairs LA.
The hubris (or stupidity) of this intern left me with my jaw on the floor. However, in a most satisfying moment of karma, the last time I saw this "fellow," he was answering phone calls in his Senator's front office, surely enjoying the menial tasks of an intern.
This blog is dedicated to those DC residents who eagerly await (or completely dread) DC Summer Intern Season. Essential to the function of most offices in DC, interns are willing to complete tasks that are often considered undesirable.
For many interns, this blog will not apply. For those interns to whom it does apply, we hope that you use these anecdotes to change your behavior and eventually change the stigma attached to DC interns.
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To the interns: Please use this blog as a learning tool. Godspeed and best of luck this summer!