Jessica Isler’s Alma Venture came as a political intern in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, where no two days were the same.
With the presidential election quickly approaching, few things were as heated as the summer of 2016. For Jessica Isler, it was exactly what she ordered. Having an opportunity to experience Washington, D.C., is one thing, but working on Capitol Hill during a presidential campaign is a completely different story.
Isler’s Alma Venture came as a political intern in the office of Sen. Debbie Stabenow, where no two days were the same. She quickly learned to become flexible with her ever-changing work schedule and unpredictable assignments. Some of her time was spent working on policy analysis, memo writing and constituent communication, while other days were spent experiencing real life issues and debates.
She had the rare opportunity to view a near 15-hour filibuster for gun control from the Senate staff gallery. Isler also took part in the famous Democratic intern selfie, a photo that went viral on the internet because of its diverse cultural representation.
“I’d say the most memorable moment from my internship was the gun control filibuster,” says Isler. “Contrary to popular belief, filibusters are not very common to witness, and I was able to watch from the Senate staff gallery. While I was there, Elizabeth Warren, one of my idols and favorite senators, spoke on the floor. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”
Isler loved having the chance to create long-lasting, personal and professional connections, including meeting many individuals within the legislative branch. She also felt at home as she developed a good rapport with her coworkers.
“The other interns and I were able to create an intern family,” she says. “We worked together on key issues and assignments, but also had plenty of time to build a relationship outside of the workplace as we went to dinners and explored the entire city.”
Her passion for Washington, D.C., as a city is the only thing that matched her educational and professional experience.
“I love Washington, D.C., because it provides a perfect opportunity for learning,” says Isler. “All of the museums in the city are free, so realistically you could spend a whole weekend at each one and still not see everything. Add in the many monuments located all over, and you really get a complete feel for the history of the city, as well as the history of the United States.”
Previous to her venture experience, Isler wasn’t sure what she wanted to do when she graduated. That all changed when she returned to Michigan to finish school.
“The summer experience really helped me figure out what I want to do after I finish at Alma College,” says Isler. “I want to go back to Washington, D.C., to work on the Hill. I absolutely love the work and the fast pace with which everything moves.”
Watch Jessica’s Venture video.