Biology major concludes internship on Capitol Hill
While many students would be happy with landing just one internship before they graduate, junior biology major Taylor Boole managed to score two summer interning positions on Capitol Hill.
Boole lived in Washington, D.C., for 10 weeks this summer. He spent the first four weeks working as an intern in the office of U.S. Rep. George Holding, R-NC, and the following six weeks at the Armenian Assembly of America, the largest non-partisan Armenian-American advocacy organization in the U.S.
Boole said the experience in Rep. Holding's office was invaluable.
“Whether you’re in research, whether you’re in marketing, whether you’re running a business as a whole — which I’m interested in — I think that learning about how the political process works and influences those things is important,” Boole said.
During his time in Rep. Holding’s office, Boole managed daily communications between the congressmember and his constituents, attended and wrote memos about legislative hearings, researched legislation in which the congressmember could sponsor and gave tours of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Katie Smith, the congress member’s office manager, said the office has a couple of interns at any given time. She said the internship program comprehensively educates its participants about legislation.
“The congressman's interns are exposed to every step of the legislative process,” Smith said. “The program is designed to offer students a firsthand glimpse into working on Capitol Hill and an overview of the legislative process.”
During his internship with the AAA office, Boole met with legislators to advocate for legislation regarding Armenian-American relations, kept up-to-date spreadsheets of members of the Congressional Armenian Caucus and researched daily news reports related to AAA’s projects.
AAA programs director Joseph Piatt said the organization accepts about 20 interns every summer. He said the internship program is important in expanding their network of advocates and creating future leaders for the Armenian-American community.
“That’s why we do this particular program — to build the new generation of leaders and our contacts in D.C. through positive work and connection,” Piatt said.
Piatt said the AAA promotes public awareness of Armenian issues and lobbies in Washington for national recognition of the Armenian Genocide, military parity funding for the conflict with Azerbaijan and other foreign aid funding for Armenia.
Boole, who is half-Armenian, said the program educated him on Armenian-American relations and allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of Armenian culture.
“Learning more about these issues and how to get recognition and how to fight them was a very interesting process,” Boole said.
Boole said he could feel the tense political climate during his time in D.C.
"Especially with all the controversy of what Trump's doing, it just brings the stakes higher," Boole said. "You can tell by the way some people talk on the phone, constituents when they call you, they're either very happy about what Trump's doing or they're very concerned."
Despite his interest in politics, Boole still plans on majoring in biology with a business minor to pursue healthcare consulting. He said he would encourage his peers to learn more about the political process, no matter what career path they’re on.
"You get a different view of what it's like working in politics — what's really going on and how this legislation is developed and all the work that goes into actually passing it," Boole said. "Even if I'm not a political science major, I think it's just an invaluable learning experience."
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