Internship focus: Kevin Havelda at the Capitol
RELEASED: Aug. 10, 2006
"From the beginning, Centre's Career Services were invaluable to me for this internship," says Havelda. "They helped me organize and enhance my resume, craft an intelligent writing sample and ask the right people for recommendations."
Responsibilities of the internship include conducting tours of the Capitol, responding to constituent concerns, researching legislative issues, writing letters and working with the congressman’s staff on issues that affect the nation and Kentucky.
"By day two, I was drafting memos for the Congressman, giving Capitol tours to constituents, handling mail and phone calls and writing constituent responses," explains Havelda. "By the end of the first week, the Chief of Staff, Denis Fleming, dropped the skeleton of a bill onto my desk (as well as the other interns) to begin work on."
From that day to his very last, Havelda worked on compiling data, making important phone calls, sitting in on meetings with essential interest groups and organizing briefing material to assist the Congressman and help inform him on his pending legislation.
"At one point, we'd done so well as interns, that the Chief of Staff reserved time in the Congressman's schedule for us (lowly interns) to brief and advise him on this bill. I met interns that hadn't even met their Congressman, and here I was, advising mine politically on what he should do to enhance this bill before signing off on it."
Havelda's hard work paid off when, on his last day of work, the Congressman introduced the "21stCentury High Performing Public Schools Facilities Act" into the 109th Congress. In addition, Havelda's press release on the subject was picked up by both local and national reporters and ran in newspapers throughout the country.
Havelda adds, "My passion and faith in the American political system has been relit, and I'm recommitted to the belief that the government can be a force of good to improve its peoples' lives."
Apart from the work, Havelda had the opportunity to attend several lectures from political figures such as former Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Arlen Specter and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson. His personal favorite was Senator Barack Obama. "After he concluded, he said he'd take two questions. I shot my hand up first, and he called on me. To hear this man of intelligence and compassion answer the question I had asked was a moment I'll not soon forget."
"This internship experience has been invaluable. I've learned more in two months than any political science course could ever teach me. Through connections, speakers, hard work and long nights, I feel I've contributed to my government in some way, large or small, and that my time on the Hill was never ill-spent. It was rewarding, tiring and amazing. There were constantly people of great stature in the office, from ambassadors to Congressmen and women, to chiefs of staff. There was never a dull moment."With an internship, students gain an extra edge that will help them secure more meaningful jobs after graduation. More importantly, they gain real-world experience that will be of benefit throughout their lives. Centre is dedicated to helping students find quality internship experiences in the career area of their choice. Through the Centre Commitment, students who meet the College's academic and social expectations are guaranteed an internship, study abroad, and graduation in four years–or the College will provide up to an additional year of study tuition–free.
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