I feel very lucky to be working in an office where the staff has a high appreciation of their interns. While they can’t compensate us with money for our work, there are many other ways in which they help facilitate a meaningful intern experience on the Hill. One of these benefits is the ability to sit down and talk with staff in the office about their job and path to working in DC. More than simply getting to know the people you are working for this also helps us fresh-faced interns practice the art of an informational interview. I have come to learn that in DC personal connections mean a lot, so reaching out to as many people as possible is only going to put the ball in your court if you end up looking for a job out here.
Informational interviews are casual, but the interviewer should be able to express a genuine interest in the life, work, and/or career path of the interviewee. For me, being a receptive and engaged audience is not too hard. Everyone’s story about how they got passionate in their field and how they got to the Capitol is so unique that it is hard not to be at the pique of interest! One of the coolest things about informational interviews is that they can be used in many different situations. Friend of a friend, potential co-worker, life-advice giver… all occasions to sit down for a cup of coffee and chat!