Arlington Heights, Illinois, Student Interns In Durbin's Washington, DC Office

WASHINGTON – Arlington Heights, Illinois, native Jack Ryan 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.”

Jack is originally from Portland, Oregon, but has lived in Arlington Heights for 16 years.  He is currently a junior at Marquette University pursuing degrees in journalism and political science with plans to attend law school in the future.  On campus, Jack works for Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking where he helps create a more inclusive campus and community.  He has worked as a TV producer for his college’s newscast, while also being a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and M.A.R.D.I Gras service organization.  Jack prides himself on service, and hopes his career will be one that can help individuals attain a better life.

“Being part of a staff that continually strives to create policies that advocate for and support American citizens is inspiring,” Jack said.  “In today’s polarized political climate, to see individuals working on legislation that benefits America reassures my hope for this nation’s future.  On top of all of that, the communication skills and teamwork in Senator Durbin’s office has shown me that those fundamental skills are always going to be essential in achieving one’s goals and accomplishments.”

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.