Chicago, Illinois Student Interns in Durbin’s Washington, DC Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Chicago, Illinois native Larry Harris spent two months this summer interning for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes with the Senator’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee staff. 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.”


Harris graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May with a B.A. in political science and will be pursuing a Master in Public Administration at Cornell University this fall. Working in Senator Durbin’s Capitol Hill office has given him a greater appreciation for Congress’ role in shaping and implementing U.S. foreign policy.


“I am truly honored to have the privilege of serving the citizens of in my capacity as an intern for Senator Durbin.” Harris said. “I was warmly welcomed by the staff on my first day. I am continuously given challenging, yet rewarding work that is helping me develop both professionally and personally.”


The internship is designed to provide interns with the 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.