The junior year internship on Capitol Hill is a staple of Madeira’s Co-Curriculum program. But what do you do when there’s a global pandemic? Go virtual of course!
In the winter of 2020, Paige DiStefano ’22, interviewed with the office of Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. The office was so impressed with Paige during her interview that they asked her to come on board early during winter break. Without hesitation Paige, independently navigated her way to the Hill, got sworn in, and received a government laptop and phone.
Over her winter break, Paige was the only intern on staff for Senator Blumental’s DC office. She worked virtually to answer calls, write memos, and attend briefings and hearings, such as “Women, Work, and Covid-19.”
For the the research requirement of her internship, Paige chose to focus on the issue of equitable reproductive health care. She was able to interview the Senior Legal Counsel in her office and ask questions about legislation around her chosen topic.
When asked what was the most meaningful experience during her internship, Paige responded “The most meaningful experience that I had was getting the chance to meet with the Senior Counsel in my office. We talked about reproductive justice, his role in the office , and the college process. It was an amazing opportunity to network on a professional level and provided great insight into my issue area.”
When Senator Blumenthal’s office welcomed their college interns, Paige helped train and create onboarding materials for them.
Staff Assistant Beatrix Dalton, Paige’s supervisor, was impressed with her contribution and skills. “Paige was an absolute delight to have in our office. When she changed her schedule to begin a few weeks early, we knew she would be a great fit. Despite the virtual internship, Paige was both professional and enthusiastic in all of her interactions,” shared Ms. Dalton. “In addition to the standard intern work, she took the initiative to reach out to members of our staff to learn more about their work and the issues that interest her. She also worked on a special project that involved contacting all of the members of our staff. She completed this project both quickly and well. Building upon her project work, she was able to put together a guide to help future interns navigate certain difficult situations. Thanks to Paige, future intern classes will have more clarity in their work. We are so glad Paige was able to be part of our office team this spring!”