Political Science

Political Science Concentrator Completes Prestigious Internship with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Office in Washington, DC

Alexander Delaney ‘26 represented his home state of Massachusetts this spring, securing a prestigious Hill internship in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office. He participated in the Brown in Washington program as a second semester sophomore and will return to Providence in the fall.

Alex looks forward to drawing connections between his work on the Hill and his remaining Political Science courses, while supporting other Brown students who also hope to land an experience like this one.

What motivated you to want to work on the Hill?

I have been involved in politics since middle school, and have been fascinated with the general idea that this one “workplace” can change so many people’s lives. Working on the Hill has slowly become a bit of an end goal for me as a result, and I could never imagine that I would be doing it so quickly in my college career. 

What have you learned from your work in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office?

Honestly I am not sure I can fit all of what I learned into a couple of sentences. Seeing the legislative process first hand – from drafting research memos to handing in the proposed legislation to the Cloakroom myself – is a surreal experience. And actually helping folks out from across the country not only have their opinions logged but connecting them with caseworkers to assist them in times of need is an incredibly fulfilling process.

Has your experience shaped your career interests and goals for the future?

It has reaffirmed that this is the right career path for me to take. Not only is it a safe space for me to geek out over politics, but it also makes me feel as if I am doing something right, and moving the conversation forward. I hope to eventually return to the Hill or something adjacent, to push legislation that I believe will help the most vulnerable across the country. It has also helped open my mind a little further that grad/law school can also be incredibly important to getting ahead, but I don’t have to rush everything all at once to be successful. 

How might other Brown University students know if a Hill internship is right for them?

I think I would only take a Hill internship if you are fully invested for all of the right reasons. If you can accept the fact that 75% of the time you may do a lot of repetitive work, and 25% of the time you can do incredible projects and tasks you can’t do anywhere else, then I would go for it. But you also need to recognize that both of these types of work are 100% important to the functions and backbones of how Congressional offices work; these tasks keep the government afloat. 

It does not necessarily matter who you work for, but a good rule of thumb I heard from a former congressional staffer is that a good boss is someone who you agree with on policy 90% of the time, but respect 100% of the time. Ideological alignment is not exactly the end all be all as interns typically aren’t involved in major legislative decisions, but it definitely helps in terms of ensuring you feel you are in the right place doing the right things. 

Do you have any advice for students who know they want a Hill internship and who don’t know where to start with their applications?

Network. I can not stress enough how vital it is to network for a majority of Hill internships. Networking allows for you to almost have an ally in these places, and if someone can vouch for you or connect you with the person running the program, you are ahead of 90% of the other applicants. LinkedIn, while not a great place to apply to jobs, is incredible for having a wide database of staffers that you can simply message and schedule an informational coffee chat. Many will say yes, as people love talking about themselves (as I am doing here), and even just chatting with them and not asking for anything in return will still keep you on their mind especially if you apply. Keep in contact with them, let them know if you end up applying, and it can make a world of difference.

I did not get my current internship by networking, and even the applications that were allegedly flagged for me did not end up getting anywhere. That’s perfectly fine. Still apply to offices you feel drawn to on their application portals, or by keeping track of what pops up on the House Vacancy Bulletin, or the Senate Employment Bulletin. Just make sure in your resumes that you distinguish yourself, provide a cohesive message about who you are and what you hope to bring, and exactly why their office. You will of course run into many dead ends, but you only need one offer to get onto the Hill. 

Do you need to pursue a specific concentration to be competitive for work on the Hill?

In simple terms, no, you do not. Plenty of the staffers and interns I have met are not doing a political or government based concentration. But if you do apply, be prepared to explain why you are interested in a government job, and what your concentration would help bring. Tying this in will again distinguish you from the rest of the field, but having relevant service experience is ideal to break through.

Is there anything else you’d like to share to people who read this interview about your experiences or advice?

Trust yourself. This process is going to feel grueling and long, but in the end it will be worth it. Good things come to those to wait, and any rejections you receive are just redirections. The office that is the right fit for you will come, but you need to have patience and trust the process will work out. Congressional internships are a phenomenal way to get experience with the legislative process, and can really help propel you to a future career on the Hill. Take it as a learning experience to better find yourself and what fits in your career path, as your education here at Brown is limited. It will only be as worth it as you make it, so give it your best Bruno try and good things will follow.