Intern Profile: Kathryn Herbert

profile  Kathryn Herbert interned at the New York City office of Senator Kirsten
  Gillibrand during the Fall 2013 semester.

  Q.  How did you learn about your internship, and what was the hiring
  process like?

  A. I heard about my internship via email from Marist’s Career Services
  office. Hiring was rather typical. I had to submit a resume and three
  letters of recommendation. When I was called in for an interview, I was
  asked a standard series of questions and was told I’d be notified if I
  was hired.

Q. What is the most interesting thing you’ve done at your internship?

A. As a caseworker in Military and Veterans’ affairs at the Senator’s office, I love helping older veterans receive
medals they were never awarded, or helping victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) get justice. It’s always
interesting hearing people’s stories and being able to help them.

Q.What was the most important thing you learned through your internship?

A. Compassion goes a long way. Some people call the office just to speak to someone who may sympathize.
Even if there’s nothing we can do to help in terms of paperwork, it’s incredible how many people we can help
simply by listening.

Q. What do you wish you had known before starting your internship?

A. I wish I’d known more about how the government functions as a whole, especially Senatorial offices,
before starting my internship. I went in totally blind, but I have learned so much.

Q. How has the internship helped you?

A. I can now say I fully understand the workings and limitations of a Senatorial office, and by extension,
Congress. I knew virtually nothing about U.S. government and policies before starting my internship, and
now I can recite political procedures in my sleep.

Q. How did your coursework help prepare you for your internship?

A. Taking my Honors U.S. and the World (Global Engagement) course while attending my internship
was an absolute blessing. Our class’s focus on current events helped me more than you can imagine
with my internship, as we would cover issues and policies that were coming up on a regular basis at
my internship. Conversely, I felt I had something genuinely helpful to offer my class when I would come
back from my internship with new, up-to-date information straight from the Senator’s office. It was an
empowering experience.