D.C.’s Political Boot Camp

An Intern’s Guide to Capitol Hill

Best place to live

  • George Washington University dorms (a room to yourself and plenty of people to meet)
  • American University dorms
  • Georgetown University dorms
  • Best places to hang out

  • Bar Nun (13th St. and U St. NW): Hip-hop, go-go, techno. $5 cover. No sneakers, no jeans.
  • Politiki (3rd St. and Pennsylvania Ave. SE): Swing, jazz, blues, folk, pop. No cover. "Funkiest Polynesian drinks."
  • The Spot (6th St. and F St. NW): Top 40, international hip-hop. Features parties for interns.
  • Tryst (18th St. and Columbia Rd. NW): jazz, pop.
  • Tequila Grill (20th St. and K St. NW): All kinds of music. $5 cover. Free draft beer. Tuesdays are intern nights.
  • Job description

  • Answer phones
  • Research answers to constituents' questions
  • Lead tours of Capitol
  • Fetch coffee
  • Police images depict missing intern Chandra Levy with different hair styles.
    photo: Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC
    Police images depict missing intern Chandra Levy with different hair styles.

    Best reasons to be an intern

  • Looks good on résumé
  • See famous people up close
  • Network for the future
  • Watch history get made
  • Learn nuts and bolts of politics
  • Best place to be

  • House floor
  • How I got my job

  • Mom/Dad gave bucks to member's campaign
  • Worked for member's political campaign
  • Sent a letter and résumé
  • Cold call
  • Career goal

  • Lawyer-lobbyist
  • Federal judge
  • U.S. senator
  • Governor
  • Political hero

  • My boss
  • Michael Jordan
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Carol Mosley Brown
  • Gandhi
  • Steve Forbes
  • Role model

  • Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Jesus
  • Dress for success

  • Women: Separate yourself from peers who inappropriately wear tank tops and short skirts by dressing in a suit. Otherwise stick to knee-length skirts and sweater sets. Above all, women must fit into office decor, which is set by the congressperson. (Sexist pigs!)
  • Men: Blazer, tie
  • Favorite drug

  • Alcohol
  • Favorite drink

  • Women: Cosmopolitan, Long Island Ice Tea, Gatorade, Kir Royal
  • Men: Bud, Miller Light
  • What my Mama said when I left home

  • "Be careful."
  • "To use my brain not to do anything risky."
  • "Use the wisdom [my parents] gave me so I won't do anything ridiculous like sleeping around with a congressman."
  • "Don't get involved with an older man."

  • Additional reporting: Sandra Bisin and Ariston-Lizabeth Anderson

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