Emily Nance with Speaker Boehner

My name is Emily Nance and I recently completed an internship with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

First of all, I would like to thank the Lord for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I know that this internship was His will for me this summer, and I am truly humbled by His provision in my life.

I would also like to thank my family for their patience with me. I am blessed to have godly parents that encourage me to chase my heart’s desires, even though some of them require a lot of air miles!

Lastly, I would like to thank you, my Faith Family, for all of your prayers and encouragement while I was away. I am glad to have a church family that supports me wherever I may be, whether in Gainesville, London or DC!

When writing this blog entry, I was unsure of what I should focus on. However, I am Mary Nance’s daughter, so I am never speechless! I decided to answer the questions I am asked a lot. I hope this format will allow you to learn more about my internship on Capitol Hill. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at emcnance@aol.com.

How in the world did you get that internship?

I understand this is a completely valid question, especially considering I do not live in Ohio and I am not a political science major. While John Boehner is Speaker of the House, he also represents the 8th District of Ohio in Congress. Anyone can apply for an internship with any member of Congress regardless of their home district.

As for me, I simply submitted my resume, cover letter and writing samples to Speaker Boehner’s office in January. I did a phone interview at the end February and was offered the internship the beginning of March.

I don’t know how many people applied, although I heard the number “hundreds” thrown around. The office did 40 phone interviews and accepted about 20 interns for the duration of the summer. Most of the interns are from Ohio, but I proudly represented the Sunshine State.

What did you do?

My internship lasted five weeks. I spent four weeks in Congressman Boehner’s personal office and one week in the Speaker’s office. The difference between the two offices is that the personal office handles matters directly related to the 8th District of Ohio. This office is located in the Longworth House Office Building. The other office, the Speaker’s office, handles the affairs of the entire country. This office is located in the Capitol building between the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall.

I learned a lot about constituent services during my internship. I read mail from constituents and logged the mail into the computer system. I enjoyed reading the mail and learning why people were passionate about certain issues.

I also conducted tours of The Capitol, which was by far my favorite part of my internship. I learned the history of The Capitol and I could amaze you with all of the “fun facts” I picked up. I met some really neat people and I even got to give a tour to Mrs. Boehner!

Did you get to meet him?

Yes, I did and I have to say John Boehner is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He is very laid back and has some pretty good one-liners, too. He always says he is just a normal guy with a big job, which I think is the perfect way to describe him.

What was your favorite part?

Can I have two!? I have two distinct things I consider my favorites:

  1. I absolutely loved every minute of my internship. I could not have asked for a better experience. I learned a lot, had a ton of fun and made a lot of new friends. I loved walking the hallowed halls of The Hill and learning about our federal government hands-on. It was like real life C-SPAN!
  2. I was in DC when the death of Osama bin Laden was announced and, yes, I was one of those crazy people celebrating outside of the White House in the middle of the night. It was one of the most patriotic and celebratory environments I have ever been a part of. Singing the national anthem followed by “Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey Osama goodbye!” is such a special memory from my time in our nation’s capital.

Where did you live?

I lived in the Young Women’s Christian Home, also known as Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH). It is home to 120 women between the ages of 18 and 34. TMH is located on Capitol Hill, which is convenient because I walked to work every morning. I met some really great girls that I became friends with while in DC.

My internship was a great experience for me and I am grateful for this incredible opportunity. If there is anything I learned while in DC, it is that governing is not as easy as you might think it is. Sure, it’s easy to say, “Well, all we need to do is __ and all of our problems will be solved.” However, you also have to consider the financial impact of decisions and the countless factors involved in policy development and implementation.

I encourage you to be involved in the political process by voting for candidates that share your ideas and values. Also, contact your elected officials to voice your opinion. A note, email or phone call will do, but please remember there is someone on the other end of your message, probably a sweet, unpaid intern like me. I know government can be frustrating, but please remember to be calm and truly listen to the response so you may better understand the issue you are calling or writing about. You could also consider simply saying thank you when the politician votes in a way you appreciate. Nothing was more encouraging to me than someone writing our office to say, “Thank you for how you voted on ___ bill” or “Thank you for just being you.” I also encourage you to pray for our elected officials, something I know we as a church family already do.

I am a senior at the University of Florida majoring in public relations with a minor in public leadership. I will graduate in August 2012. People usually ask me what I want to do, but I’m still trying to figure that out. My internship and other experiences I have had have exposed me to a variety of careers that I am interested in. Politics is a weird professional field because there are tons of possible careers and it is always changing. I have a few things I would like to do at some point, but no concrete answer about what I’ll do after graduation. I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to discover the Lord’s plan for me.


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