Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

U.S. Senate

Summer 2017

Position: Congressional Intern, Ted Cruz
Student: Government Junior

I spent the summer of 2017 interning with United States Senator Ted Cruz’s Central Texas Office. Having worked in congressional offices before, I sort of knew what to expect; but, this was my first internship with a United States Senator. The guy represents 27 million Texans, so I knew the workload would be a lot heavier, but I still was not sure what to expect. A typical day in my life as an intern from 9am – 4pm, in which I played various roles and handled a variety of tasks throughout the day. The absolute very first thing I did everyday was check in with my supervisor and ask what was on the agenda for the day, given that there are many of the different tasks we have done this summer. She would give me the run down for the day and then I would settle into my desk and start my day. One of the tasks that is ongoing from the moment you step into the office, from the moment you leave, is answering phones. Representing 27 million Texans, Senator Cruz’s office tends to receive a high volume of calls, also given the fact that he has become a national figure after the 2016 Presidential Race. Most of the calls were from constituents, wanting to get answers to questions they may have, voice their concerns, or get assistance with a federal agency. Being in the casework hub office, there were a lot of casework related phone calls. Besides phones, the daily tasks ranged from opening mail to folding flags to drafting letters to local officials. One of the most rewarding tasks I helped with were the Academy Nominations, helping outstanding kids fulfill their dreams of serving our country. The most heartbreaking tasks were the condolence letters, knowing that that young man or woman died serving our country breaks my heart for their parents. Overall, there was not a single day that went by where I did not learn something new or have the chance to grow professionally and spiritually. It is a very humbling experience to talk to Texans experiencing some of the hardships in life and being able to assist them in getting help with a federal agency. 

Spring 2015

Position: Federal Senate Office Intern, Ted Cruz
Student: Government Freshman

A typical day at Senator Ted Cruz’s Federal Office starts by figuring out what you’re assigned to that day. There are three possible options, outreach, casework, or phones. Outreach involves doing tasks that connect the Senator’s office to the people of Texas. Sometimes you look through small town newspapers to find honorable Texans to recognize. Other times you research incidents in Texas in order to have a better understanding of how constituents are feeling or perceiving an issue.

Casework involves working with a specific caseworker on whatever they need help with. Often casework entails going through old cases and making sure that they have been properly closed and that all parties involved are satisfied. It often involves reading letters from constituents requesting help and trying to figure out how you can help them. Caseworkers love to answer questions about the issues they deal with and the agencies they work with. A lot of casework issues are complicated and involve a thorough understanding of policy, which is extremely useful to know.

Phones, my personal favorite, always leads to a very interesting day. When there’s a low volume of calls, you have a chance to independently research current affairs. There are always plenty of articles to read and readings for the internship to keep you occupied between calls. Hearing from the people of Texas is very interesting because there is such a wide range of opinions. When someone calls with a question, you answer it on behalf of the Senator using talking points or press releases.

Position: Intern, Ted Cruz
Student: Government Junior

A typical day in the life at the office of United States Senator Ted Cruz usually begins with checking your senate email account in order be up to date on any pressing issues that might make a difference when answering phone calls and talking to constituents.

After scanning through any new or relevant emails, I will usually scan different news outlets in order to have a broad context about any current issues happening in the United States or abroad. Keeping up with current events is one of the most important aspects of this internship, because if you are unable to provide factual information to constituents, you are of very little use to the process. Constituents who pay taxes deserve an office that runs efficiently and that can provide them with a medium for information as well as a place to voice their concerns and opinions to their Congressman.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is, of course, regular office work that involves making copies, faxing, organizing, etc. This is also important to the process because each liaison at the office deals with a specific category of people. On these days, the Intern is assigned to “casework.” This casework simply involves helping the respective liaison with their own personal work. With the large number of constituents within Texas, it is easy for these liaisons to get bogged-down with cases, so I am confident the availability of an Intern to help with their work is a relief.

 


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    University of Texas at Austin
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    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508
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