Antioch, Illinois, Student Interns In Durbin's Washington, DC Office

WASHINGTON – Antioch, Illinois, native Teresa Furlong spent this fall interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office as an intern.  Each year, close to 50 interns work in Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office.

“I started my career on Capitol Hill as a college intern for Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois,” Durbin said. “I will never forget that day in February of 1966 when he agreed to hire me as an intern to work in his office.  As a student from East St. Louis, Illinois, going to work in the office of a U.S. Senator was one of the most exciting things I had ever done.  I know what a valuable experience it can be and we strive to make sure all of our students get a glimpse into the workings of the United States Senate.”

Teresa is from Antioch, Illinois, a northern village in Lake County, and is currently a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She is pursuing degrees in economics and political science with a minor in Spanish.  Teresa credits her interest in government and politics to the several outstanding social science teachers at Antioch Community High School.  Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., she worked as a data analyst for an automobile aftermarket company, where she saw the impact of tariffs on international and local business.  Teresa spent this summer as a research assistant for an economics professor studying the effects of social media on voters.  On campus, Teresa is a member of her school’s mock trial team, Alpha Omicron Pi, and will attend the Vienna Diplomatic Study Abroad Program this spring.

“My time in Washington has proven how many people there are, especially on Senator Durbin’s staff, who are passionate about improving our nation and working towards a better future for constituents,” Teresa said.  “Interning in the Senate has given me the chance to understand how policy is created.  I’ve learned that comprehensive reform takes time and changes in government must happen gradually to be effective.  The experience working for Senator Durbin is an amazing opportunity that I will remember years from now.”

The intern responsibilities include assisting full-time staff in responding to constituent related topics, assisting with information inquiries, attending committee and agency hearings and briefings, researching legislative issues and policy questions, and observing floor proceedings.  During that time, the students gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process, learn about the inner-workings of the federal government, and develop valuable research skills.