Molly Brennan – Political Internship
In October, I was lucky enough to be a part of Democracy Day here at Garden Spot. I sat awkwardly at a table of people I don’t remember the names of when Mr. Schneider walked towards me with Representative David Zimmerman. After a short introduction, Dave gave me his business card and expressed his interest in taking in an intern for the upcoming semester. Although I was set to have an internship at Garden Spot Village, interning with a state representative seemed much more on par to my career plans. So, in January, I began my internship with Priscilla Eberly, Chief of Staff for Representative David Zimmerman. His local office is here in New Holland, just past the New Holland Coffee co., but I’ve spent a fair share of time in Harrisburg.
The daily buzz of the office is either mind-numbing or chaotic. If it’s just a typical day, I’ll probably be filing information into the computer system, making copies, putting away paperwork, reading up on legislation, and sitting in on constituent meetings. If the secretary, Joy, is out, I’ll take a seat at the front desk and handle calls. New Holland is a place of the people. Be friendly, listen, smile. Harrisburg, however, is a different story. I’ve always had some disdain for state government; why stay local when you can go work for the big dogs in DC? Or, even be one of the big dogs in DC? But stepping into the rotunda in Harrisburg changed that for me. Not only is the capital shockingly beautiful, but people are moving at the speed of sound. Everyone who’s anyone is there, shaking hands and making deals. I usually follow Priscilla around for the day, giving tours and stopping into meetings for Dave. I don’t see a lot of Dave in Harrisburg—he’s always meeting with someone and running somewhere. When I say running, I mean it—I was advised not to wear heels in the capitol. Since the floors are all hand-laid stone, heels will break at the sight of them. As I write this on Monday, I am preparing to be a guest page on the house floor on Tuesday.
Going into this internship, I wanted to be a political journalist, whether international or at the White House. But walking around the capitol, feeling like I belonged, was changing. I realized that I wanted to be these people, these men, and women who make changes, who wield power and can use it to make peoples’ lives genuinely better. Unfortunately, people tend to talk down to me there, as though they’ve never met a teenager, asking me if I know who Nancy Pelosi is, or what the second amendment is. All the more reason to work hard and make a name for myself. I can say with certainty that this internship has changed my life—I’ve learned so much about the world of politics, the importance of bipartisanship, and the power of, well, power. Nothing has made me quite as excited for my future as this internship has.