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House Committee on Foreign Affairs
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Alexandra Marotta

Major: International Affairs-International Security option
Hometown: Memphis, TN

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had an informational interview with a senior staffer on the committee and after forwarding her my resume, she recommended me for the position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked 9am-6pm Monday through Friday doing things like writing memos, answering phones, running errands, and doing preliminary research for the reports of staffers. I was able to attend congressional hearings and be present during votes. I, along with the other interns, was responsible for setting up our committee's hearing room prior to major hearings.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was truly the first time I was able to use everything I have learned in school in a real world setting. I was constantly using research and analytical skills to write one-page memos daily, on anything from cyberterrorism to the ivory trade in China. I relied on my writing skills in a way that truly mattered, not just for a grade.

This experience was truly the first time I was able to use everything I have learned in school in a real world setting.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After college I hope to secure a job in the Foreign Service for a few years and then pursue grad school. This internship reaffirmed my desire to be apart of the diplomatic services in America and I was able to meet so many people with a wide variety of career paths so I am now more aware of just how many paths I could follow. It was reassuring to know there was not just one right answer to get where I want to be.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend working on the Hill, no matter your major. I learned valuable networking skills and met so many people that wanted to help get me started with a career. The Penn State connections came in handy many times as well. I even had coffee with the Chief of Staff of the Foreign Affairs committee because she was a Penn State alum!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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