Wilmette, Illinois, Student Interns In Durbin's Washington, D.C. Office

WASHINGTON – Wilmette, Illinois, resident Lauren Mlynek 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.”

A local of Wilmette, Lauren will graduate from Loyola University of Chicago in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Political Science. At an early age, Lauren was exposed to the globalized world, having an opportunity to live overseas in the Netherlands and Puerto Rico. The experiences taught her to always be curious and to use her prior opportunities to give back to her community. In 2018, while attending Loyola Academy, Lauren helped organize a school walkout to raise gun violence awareness. Over the summer, she campaigned in the North Chicago suburbs for state representatives Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Robyn Gabel, and State Senator Laura Fine. 

“Working in the nation’s Capital was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Lauren said. “The passion of Senator Durbin’s staffers revealed itself in the day-to-day procedures of federal governance, supporting Illinois’ constituents and the greater concerns of Americans.” 

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.