The Charger Blog

Recent Graduate Reflects on Internship in Washington, D.C.

Karissa Wilkinson ’19, who double majored in political science and global studies, says the internship she completed in Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy’s office in Washington, D.C. was one of the best experiences of her college career.

July 25, 2019

By Karissa Wilkinson ’19

Image of Karissa Wilkinson ’19
Karissa Wilkinson ’19 interned in Senator Chris Murphy’s office.

The University of New Haven has given me the ability to travel to a variety of places over the past four years of my undergraduate career. I have been able to explore the incredible food and culture at the University’s campus in Tuscany, to spend a year abroad in Varanasi, India, living with two different host families, and to travel to China with the Model United Nations team for a conference. But during my last semester, the University gave me the opportunity to go to a city I had always known I wanted to return to: Washington, D.C.

I spent the spring semester of my senior year interning in the office of United States Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut through the Washington Internship Institute Program. This internship was by far one of the most incredible experiences I have had during my time at the University of New Haven.

Interning on the Hill gave me insight into the behind-the-scenes process of legislative work and what it is like to work in the Senate or the House. Whether I was speaking with constituents, attending briefings, or working with staffers on projects, there was something to gain from everything I did.

Along the way, I was able to feel like I was a part of history – whether that was making an appearance in the back of a news clip, watching newscasters interview members of Congress, or seeing highly publicized hearings.

"I had such an incredible experience, and am so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this program."Karissa Wilkinson ’19

One of the most important ways that this internship helped me, though, was to prepare me for life after graduation. I feel much more prepared to get a job – whether in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere – because I have experienced what it is like to work on the Hill. I was able to get advice from a variety of people who have pursued careers in which I am interested, and I learned what type of career I do and do not want to pursue after I graduate.

The Washington Internship Institute Program is something that I would highly recommend for anyone who has an interest in Washington, D.C. I had such an incredible experience, and am so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this program.