Stewardson-Strasburg, Illinois Student Interns in Durbin's Washington, DC Senate Office

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Stewardson-Strasburg native Jessica Schneider 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.” 


Schneider is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania where she is studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). She is interning for Senator Durbin’s office to learn how government works and how it impacts our lives and businesses. Previously, Schneider worked as a Page in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 “I was attracted to politics and government because I saw the opportunity to improve life for people from my hometown,” Schneider said. “I believe it is incredibly helpful to be knowledgeable about how things work on the inside which I have been exposed to while interning with Senator Durbin’s D.C. office.” 

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.