Skip to content

Staffers on What They Wish They Had Done as Interns

Getting paid was the most common response

Staffers who were former staffers were asked what they would do differently if they got a do-over. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)
Staffers who were former staffers were asked what they would do differently if they got a do-over. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)

Grab your Jefferson’s Manual and break our your thank you cards. It’s time to talk regrets. 

Lots of D.C. interns finish out the summer wishing they’d done more. 

HOH reached out to congressional staffers at all levels and from both parties to ask about their intern experience and what they would change if they could do it all over again.

The No. 1 answer was “get paid.” While unpaid internships on Capitol Hill could soon be a thing of the past, congressional badges, networking and handwritten notes might never fade away.

Asked to fill in the blank with one regret, here’s what staffers said.

When I was a congressional intern, I wish I had …

“…taken my congressional ID off before going out after work.”

“…sent more handwritten thank you notes.”

“…a chance to learn about all of the things college doesn’t teach you, like how to budget, network, and strategically plan my career moves.”

“…made more of an effort to actually understand House procedure & rules.”

“… Uber, google maps, apple pay, bikeshare, Netflix, twitter, Spotify, TSA pre-check, brunch, the phrase ‘woke,’ as well as any phrase that ended with AF.  Because interns today have no idea how good they have it.”

“…kept up with everyone I met.”

And the most common answers? “…been paid” and “…gotten paid.”

Watch: Hire Many Interns and More Tips for Making the Capitol More Inclusive

[jwp-video n=”1″]

Recent Stories

Strange things are afoot at the Capitol

Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024

Getting down on the Senate floor — Congressional Hits and Misses

US-China tech race will determine values that shape the future

What’s at stake in Texas runoff elections on Tuesday

Democrats decry ‘very, very harmful’ riders in Legislative Branch bill