Springfield, Illinois, Student Interns In Durbin’s Washington, D.C. Office

WASHINGTON – Springfield, Illinois, native Colin Kerr spent this fall 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.”

Colin is a senior at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) where he will graduate this December with a degree in public administration and policy. In the past, Colin has worked as a campus organizer, a campaign fellow for Governor Pritzker, a precinct committeeman, and as a staff intern for Senator Durbin in the Springfield office before moving out to D.C. to work as a legislative intern. Here in Washington, Colin works with the economic policy team and has a strong interest in labor policy. In the coming spring semester, Colin will begin his Master of Public Policy program at UIS with a focus on data analysis. Outside of work and school, Colin volunteers his time with Best Buddies – an international non-profit focused on uplifting the intellectually and developmentally-disabled community.

“I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to intern, twice now, for Senator Durbin,” Colin said. “My first internship this past summer in Springfield gave me the opportunity to understand the constituent and casework side of the Senate, and this past semester has given me the opportunity to understand the policy side of things. After working on both ends, I can confidently say that the people of Illinois are in good hands. Senator Durbin’s staff, from Illinois to D.C., are some of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and intelligent people I’ve had the opportunity to work with. This internship has given me an inside look at the political process, the work that goes into running a government, and the daily ups and downs of life in the Senate. I will hold onto this experience and will rely on the skills and connections I’ve developed for years to come.”

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.