André Smith, a political science major at Butler University, is gaining valuable experience as an intern in Washington D.C.
The Crown Point resident began interning in January for U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and his duties include fielding constituent concerns and performing research on national issues.
“Senator Donnelly is so great to work with. One thing that surprised me about working with him was just how friendly and easygoing he is,” Smith said.
“There’s definitely a human side to him that I feel a lot of people don’t usually expect to see in politicians. He also has tons of constituent interaction, which is nice to see as well.”
Smith, 20, will attend law school after graduating from Butler University this year, and hopes to eventually enter politics.
“Working with Senator Donnelly has been an eye opener. It never occurred to me how many people are required to operate a senate office and just how much interaction there is between Senators and constituents,” Smith said.
“Just seeing the political process and being part of it firsthand has taught me practical experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.”
Smith intends on learning the inner workings of Washington to give him an advantage upon entering the workforce.
“After working for just a month, I’ve been exposed to so many national issues, such as foreign tax policy and international trade issues, that I would have otherwise never been exposed to,” he said.
“There is a level of prestige that comes with working in a D.C. Senate office, which I think will do nothing but prepare me to enter the professional workforce once I receive a job,” Smith added
Smith is the son of André Smith Sr. and Sarah Givens, and graduated from Andrean High School in 2010. He is a member of Embassies of Christ Church in Gary.