Bourbannais, Illinois Student Interns Durbin"s Washington, DC Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Bourbonnais native Mitch Dickey spent two months this summer interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 interns work in Durbin’s Washington, D.C., office. Interns process constituent requests, help with legislative duties, and lead Capitol tours for Illinois residents visiting Washington. During that time, they gain firsthand knowledge of the legislative process, learn about the inner-workings of the federal government, and develop valuable research skills.

“Forty-five years ago, I started my career on Capitol Hill as a college intern for Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL),” Senator 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. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever done; a student from East St. Louis, Illinois was going to work in the office of a U.S. Senator. 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.” 


Dickey is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Political Science and Economics. Dickey has a passion for learning about the Middle East and plans to start learning Arabic.

“My love for politics led me to become very involved with the student government on campus at the University of Illinois. I was recently elected Student Body President – representing more people than the mayor of my hometown!” said Dickey. “Interning for Senator Durbin’s office has expanded my political interests and knowledge of potential career paths.”

The internship program is designed to provide interns with experience in the core functions of a Senate office and allow them to gain a better understanding of the federal legislative process. Their responsibilities include assisting full-time staff in responding to various constituent requests, assisting with information inquiries, attending committee and agency hearings and briefings, researching legislative issues and policy questions, observing floor proceedings, and attending meetings related to specific legislation.