Field Broadbent ’14 and Jonathan Pinque ’12 intern on Capitol Hill
Centre students are taking over the capitol this summer, with internships in fields frommuseum studies to government. And while Washington, D.C. is always full of life, Field Broadbent ’14 and Jonathan Pinque ’12 have found themselves right in the middle of an even more active political arena than usual.
Broadbent and Pinque are spending the end of the summer working for Congressman Ben Chandler, and the experience allowed them to witness the effects of the debt debate firsthand.
“While the debt ceiling issue was going on, the office was very chaotic,” Broadbent says. “We received several hundred phone calls a day from mad constituents and were unable to give them a firm answer on the subject. I did get to learn a great deal about what was happening, though, and became very knowledgeable about the issue.”
Interning with the Congressman has given Broadbent and Pinque the chance to experience day-to-day life on Capitol Hill.
“We complete many tasks, ranging from answering constituent phone calls to helping prepare speeches for the Congressman,” Broadbent says. “I’ve also had the opportunity to attend briefings, listening to figures such as the Chairman of the Treasury Ben Bernanke while taking notes for our legislative assistants.”
Pinque, who has a particular interest in activism, completed a communications internship with Qatar Foundation International earlier this summer. It was an experience he relished.
“I didn’t care if I was only pouring coffee there — I just wanted to learn what it takes to be a professional in the fields of activism, foreign relations and advocacy,” he says. “Along the way, I have been guided and helped by many, and that has impacted me and made me to want to do the same. I am passionate about playing an activist role, bringing about change and helping others in any way possible.”
Both students agree that living in D.C. for the summer has been a great experience. For Broadbent, the most exciting part has been learning from political giants.
“I have enjoyed every minute, but the aspect that gave me the most pleasure, given my interest in law, was listening to Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and Justice Ruth Ginsburg speak to Congressional interns,” he says. “Hearing Justice Ginsburg speak in the Supreme Court Courtroom was spectacular.”
Pinque particularly enjoyed adapting to a new lifestyle and making connections.
“Going to a big city, I thought people would be at a faster pace and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But I adjusted quickly and met so many great people — from my two internships, friends in my dorm, people in other organizations such as USQBC and C-SPAN, ambassadors and other congressmen. Everyone made me feel at home in D.C. I’ve literally had the time of my life here.”