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

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Rockton, Illinois native Emma Porter 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.”


Porter is a rising junior at Bryn Mawr College where she studies political science. Working closely with Senator Durbin’s Capitol Hill office has given her a greater appreciation for the efforts Congress take to respond to the changing needs of the Illinois constituents.


“I had the opportunity to work alongside staff members on legislation that directly affects me,” Porter said. “The first-hand experience I gained from this internship was invaluable.  I will leave with greater insight into the functions of Capitol Hill and the prospects of a career in public service.”


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.