Chicago, Illinois Student Interns in Durbin's Washington, DC Office

WASHINGTON – Chicago, Illinois, native Sam Gragert spent this summer interning for U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office as an intern.

“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.”

A resident of Chicago, Sam is entering his final year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), majoring in political science.  Sam transferred from Wright College, a community college on the northwest side of Chicago.  Prior to his internship with Senator Durbin's office, he participated in an internship with Illinois State Representative Lindsey LaPointe of Illinois’ 19th district.  On campus, he is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed philanthropic fraternity as well as a member of the UIUC Model United Nations team.  This opportunity to work in Senator Durbin's office has provided him with valuable insight and experience with the federal legislative process.

“I am very proud and grateful for having been given the opportunity to intern for Senator Durbin,” Sam said. “Working for his health team and participating in the day-to-day functions of his staff office has left me with many insights and valuable learned experiences.  The Senator has assembled an amazing team, who provided me with valuable hands-on experience I will undoubtedly find useful as I progress in my professional career.”

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.