Student Spotlights

Dominic Restuccia ’16

Internship: House Committee on Ways and Means
Semester: Fall 2014

Dominic is studying Politics at Hillsdale.

Why WHIP? WHIP was one of the reasons that I chose to attend Hillsdale. I wavered in my resolve to leave for Washington, D.C., as it is not easy to leave the friends and community of the ’Dale behind. However, I decided that the opportunity to gain real world experience in the center of international affairs and take classes only available at the Kirby Center was too valuable to pass up. Dr. Lowery’s American National Security Studies has been the best class I have ever taken, and I have seen the Ukrainian President address Congress, met House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling at the Kirby Center, and stood next to Paul Ryan at a portrait unveiling where John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy both delivered remarks.

The internship. As an intern for the House Ways and Means Committee, I have staffed a hearing on the implementation of Obamacare, attended briefs, assisted staff in preparation to drill the IRS Commissioner, and cleaned out the coffee machine (it's not all fun and games). I have learned so much about the way government operates. What happens in this city impacts millions of lives, across the U.S. and around the globe. It is an incredible experience to be a part of that.

Advice. Every student should consider WHIP. There are internship opportunities for all kinds of majors, from leading science organizations to major businesses like Verizon. WHIP is a great opportunity to expand horizons and build off of the liberal arts education in pursuit of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

 

Aubrey Neal ’15

Internship: FreedomWorks
Semester: Spring 2014

Aubrey is studying Political Economics at Hillsdale.

Why WHIP? WHIP has been on my radar since my campus tour. The opportunity to test myself by applying what I have learned in the classroom made me look forward to trading in a semester on campus for one in the Capitol. It truly has been an eye-opening “study abroad” experience; it has also been the perfect trial period of the “real world” while still having a  crutch of Hillsdale peers, professor guidance, and a home-base at the Kirby Center. WHIP has redefined my college experience, and I would strongly recommend it.

The internship. My internship experience was a whirlwind! My schedule was always unpredictable – some days I would meet a Senator while other days I would get pulled into lunch at the elite Capitol Hill Club; one day I was informed that I would be in the company video, and the next I was invited to my boss’ home.

After graduation. I would love to pack up my boxes in Hillsdale and ship them right back to DC. But if my college experience has taught me one thing, it’s to grasp the opportunity to do something new whenever possible. So I may take the opportunity to experience a new culture, meet new people, and live somewhere I've never been before.

 

Kate Bock ’15

Internship: House Committee on the Armed Services
Semester: Fall 2013

Kate is studying History at Hillsdale.

Why WHIP? I chose to participate because I was looking for an adventure! Originally I was hoping to spend a semester abroad. However, after learning about WHIP, I felt that the connections and experiences gained from working in DC would be beneficial to my future. WHIP gave me the opportunity to take the career field I'm interested in on a test run and to explore all of the possibilities with it.

The internship. My time at the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) was truly a life changing experience. I not only worked on Capitol Hill, but I was able to serve members of our nation’s armed forces. During my semester at HASC I wrote a hearing memo, aided in the planning and organization of hearings and briefings, worked with the press team, and participated in the conference process for the National Defense Authorization Act. However, the biggest impact upon me was the committee staff. Not only did everyone work with me to ensure that my projects were meaningful and educational but they went the extra mile and invested in me personally. My internship experience was a time of tremendous personal and professional growth, and I cannot thank everyone I worked with for helping me succeed.

Advice. WHIP was the highlight of my college career, and I would encourage anyone considering it to go! The relationships and connections I gained from my semester in DC are truly priceless. Make the most of your time there, it goes by fast!

 

Michael Bunting ’15

Internship: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Semester: Fall 2013

Michael is studying Politics and Spanish at Hillsdale.

Why WHIP? I always knew I wanted to participate in WHIP at some point. The opportunity to go to D.C. and work in an internship while still taking classes from Hillsdale professors was an offer I couldn’t pass up. WHIP also gave me the chance to live in and experience D.C. with several of my closest Hillsdale friends.

The internship. As the only full-time intern for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I had the opportunity to work for almost every part of the Committee. I assisted the clerking staff in setting up and managing Committee hearings. I worked with the policy team on editing bills and house reports and researching. And I assisted the oversight team in research for a wide variety of high-profile oversight issues. The internship gave me an enormous amount of experience on the Hill and helped me establish lasting connections.

After graduation. I am tentatively planning to work for a year to save for graduate school and then attend a two year program in national security studies or an area study program. I hope at some point either during or after graduate school to enter the national security field as an analyst.

 

Andy Reuss ’15

Internship: The Office of Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
Semester: Spring 2013

Andy is studying Politics and English at Hillsdale.

The internship. My internship was great. The staff was truly amazing—every person in the office was kind and thoughtful. There were plenty of choices as to the specific work we did. I focused on topics associated with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which deals primarily with matters of constitutional law.

Experience. The other Hillsdale students and I were lucky enough to sit down with Justice Clarence Thomas. We asked him questions, both prepared and whatever came to mind. He was hilarious—a real joy. And of course he was wise, kind, and thoughtful. It is an experience I will never forget.

Advice. I would encourage anyone considering the program to speak with those who have participated in the past. I did very little research prior to applying to the program or to various internships—I was lucky in that I had great people looking out for me on both counts.