U student interns with international relations house committee

By and

After a month of living in Washington D.C., Zan Larsen, a junior in political science, has discovered there’s no typical day in the life of an intern on Capitol Hill, she said.

Sometimes it’s making hundreds of copies of briefings for congressmen, while other times it’s summarizing hundreds of pages for the writing of the briefings.

“It’s definitely always an interesting experience,” she said.

Larsen is currently interning with the House Committee on International Relations’ Democratic staff, where she helps prepare materials for members of the committee for hearings and makes initial contact with people trying to reach the Democratic staff, as well as a number of other tasks.

“That is one of the toughest jobs around here,” said Bob King, the democratic staff director of the House International Relations Committee.

“We are delighted (Larsen) is with us; congressional offices always have much more to do than we have people to do it, so we are chronically understaffed,” King said.

Larsen said she is used to the responsibilities since she just returned to Utah after spending Spring Semester in Scotland completing an internship with parliament.

“I love traveling, and I find international politics really interesting. But what’s most valuable is talking to the people here about how they got here,” she said.

Larsen said after graduation she plans to put her international experience to use in the Peace Corps.

“I want to be an international political consultant and work on the hill or in an office like I work at now,” she said.

Larsen attributes her positive internship experiences to the Hinckley Institute, which arranged her D.C. and Scotland internships.

The Hinckley Institute of Politics offers almost 100 internships throughout the year. They all include academic credit, ranging from three to 20 units and a stipend, which, according to Larsen, is rare for interns.

While interns do not take classes while in D.C., they are required to write a research paper to submit to the U. Larsen is considering writing about the congressional legislation being required to deal with the U.S.-India nuclear agreement.

Courtney McBeth, manager of internships at the Hinckley Institute, said the U has one of the best internship programs in the country.

“Internships better prepare students to be more competitive applicants for jobs, and most students say it’s the best experience they had at the U,” McBeth said.

Kay King, senior policy adviser on the Democratic staff, arranged the internship with the International Committee. She will be coming to the U as one of the Hinckley Institute’s fellow guest speakers in the fall.

“(King) really opened up the doors to this internship. She’s probably one of the most powerful women democrats in D.C. right now,” McBeth said.