3 Things You Should Know About Networking On Capitol Hill

Posted on Monday, Jul 27, 2015

When you first arrive to Washington D.C. you’ll hear countless people tell you that working up on Capitol Hill is a culture of its own. After working in a Senate office for almost ten weeks I can tell you that that is absolutely true. Like clockwork, Capitol Hill is flooded with interns that interchange four times a year. Spring, Summer I, Summer II, and in the Fall. Realizing that your time here is limited it is important to make sure that networking and meeting others is a priority. Especially if you ever hope to find yourself back up here on The Hill. With this in mind, these are three pieces of advice for any future intern hoping to network here.
  1. Business cards are key. Prior to coming up to Washington D.C. I had never owned a business card. Now I find it weird if I don’t carry some on me at all times, because you never know who you’ll meet. Went to an early morning speaker panel and hit it off with a chief of staff from the house side who does informational interviews? Exchange business cards. Made small talk with a fellow intern on the house side during Capitol tour training? Exchange business cards. Meet someone who works in an agency that you would like to work in one day? Exchange business cards. 
  2. Doing the 9-5 and going straight home is doing it all wrong. Interning in D.C. is like having two jobs, one that you do during the day and one that comes after you clock out. People in D.C. love to meet other people and even more so once everyone is off from work. So make sure to check and see what receptions are being put on in the evening or what speaker panels are being put on by different organizations that you follow.  These events are invaluable to expanding your networking and meeting other likeminded people.
  3. Above all else confidence is everything. The way you present yourself in networking situations will make a lasting impression onto others. Show enthusiasm when talking to others on subjects that are important to you and your passion for it will be evident. People love talking politics here, even more so if the person they are talking to is passionate and confident in their opinions. 
Grant Schauer
Office of Senator Ted Cruz
Washington, D.C. - Summer 2015

Tags: Advice, Hill, Networking, Washington