Politics had been a dream for senior Brad Barber ever since his freshman year at Huntington University. His experience in politics had been limited to the knowledge gained from the courses he was taking and the interactions he had with his professors.
That all changed during his spring semester when he packed his bags and moved to Washington, D.C., to spend the semester interning at the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Aaron Schock (R-Illinois). This program was offered through the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities’ American Studies Program (ASP).
Barber, a political science major from Peoria, Ill., was eager for the experience. He was unsure of the exact tasks that he would be doing, but knew that it would be a great opportunity.
"I greeted guests, answered phones, dealt with comments and concerns from constituents, attended briefings and took notes for the staffers, and I also gave informational tours throughout the capital," he said.
Although the tasks may not seem too much out of the ordinary, Barber shares that he gained some valuable experiences.
"I learned to be more professional, I learned to better my people skills and I also learned how to work in an office and in a team dynamic — something I had not had much experience prior to this internship," he said.
This experience also helped him confirm his career path for the future.
"This internship made it clear that I would love a career in politics. I loved the office and the work environment," he said.
Through this experience he saw the importance of taking advantage of opportunities presented to you, such as an internship.
"The experiences you get and the connections that you build through these internships are incredible, something no classroom can provide," he said. "The skills you develop prepare you for the real world and can help you make an important career choice."
The Enterprise Resource Center at Huntington University – we’re all about pairing Huntington University students with area businesses for internships, practicum experiences, class projects and special projects.