Hyde Park Student Interns in Durbin's Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Hyde Park resident Kate Reott will spend seven weeks interning for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), working behind the scenes in the Senator’s Capitol Hill office. Each year, close to 50 students intern 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.” 

The daughter of Joanne and Ray Reott, Kate is pursuing a major in African Regional Studies with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmond A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Reott graduated from The University of Chicago Laboratory High School in 2009. As an intern in Sen. Durbin’s office, she will research and compile reports on international trade agreements and programs in countries including Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

“I thought my internship would focus solely on domestic issues,” Reott said. “But, because of the Senator's various committee assignments and role as Assistant Majority Leader, I have had the chance to work on projects that cover a broad range of both domestic and international topics. Every day here on Capitol Hill is different and I have really enjoyed experiencing the work culture of a government office.  However, even though living in DC is fun, my heart is still in Chicago!”

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. Internships can range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.