Hannah is the first student from ECU who was picked as a recipient of the John J. Ulrich Fellowship Scholarship. She spent this past semester in Washington, D.C. Interning for a U.S. Senator, and paving the way for future students to follow in her footsteps. Here's what she had to say:
Q: Why was this internship appealing to you?
Hannah: I spent a week in [Washington] D.C. last year and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to go back and learn more about the policy-side of Washington. It has been incredible to see firsthand how policy has been put into action.
Q: How are you feeling overall about your experience?
Hannah: It’s been very beneficial. I’ve learned a lot. Washington, D.C. is not always how you think it is just from reading about it, there are so many intricacies. I’m a very hands-on learner, so it was really helpful for me to come and spend time here. You talk about it and read about it, but there's nothing like being a part of it and experiencing how it works.
Q: What did your internship look like?
Hannah: I got a ton of experience! While I was interning, I wrote some policy memorandums regarding upcoming issues, I wrote a brief about upcoming secretary nominations, and I took on a lot of clerical duties.
Q: What were some of the highlights of your semester in D.C.?
Hannah: I came on the 14th of January and the Inauguration was on the 20th, so I got to go and be a part of it. I also got the unique opportunity to attend the Inauguration Ball for the Republicans in the State of Oklahoma. The Senators were there and it was incredible to see how well-respected they are on the hill. Toby Keith made a surprise appearance and even played a few songs.
I have been living in an apartment 5 minutes away from the capitol. Every time I walk outside I am struck by how surreal it is. You don’t really realize how amazing it is until you take a step back and take it all in. I've been pinching myself the whole time to remind myself that this is all real.
Q: What are your future goals?
Hannah: I’m going to Law School in the Fall. I’m very interested in International Law and International Relations.
Q: How did this opportunity help you frame your future goals?
Hannah: Being in D.C. helped me plan my future legal career of where I want to go and what I want to do. I’ve always been driven and known I wanted to go to law school, but now I know that I am passionate about Foreign Affairs. I was able to talk to people who work in International Intelligence and found it really intriguing.
Q: Anything out of the ordinary happen?
Hannah: A couple of weeks after the inauguration, I physically ran into Senator Bernie Sanders while he was rushing to get to the Senate floor. He was coming out of the elevator and I was going into the elevator. In retrospect it is kind of funny, but at the time his secret service representative looked at me like he was going to kill me.
Q: Do you have any advice for future students who participate in this scholarship program?
Hannah: Go to everything you’re invited to. You meet so many people. You only get out of this what you put into it.