WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s the center of the federal government, an historic city where major decisions that impact the country and world are made, and for political science students, the field of dreams.
Broken Bow native Tanner Butler and two other UNK political science majors spent part of their summer in the nation’s capital, where they gained valuable experience while working as interns for Congress members and a government relations firm.
“Oftentimes, D.C. internships are the first step toward working for the federal government,” said Butler, a senior at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Butler completed a six-week internship with U.S. Representative Adrian Smith’s office. He served as a contact for constituents – answering phone calls and questions and relaying messages to the congressman. Butler also led public tours of Capitol Hill and conducted research, focusing specifically on issues related to the House Ways and Means Committee. Smith is currently in the race for chair of that committee.
Additionally, Butler was able to sit in on committee hearings, attend a professional lecture series and spend some hard-earned downtime with Smith during the Congressional Baseball Game.
“In political science, we’re learning about what’s happening in Congress and in D.C. all the time,” Butler said. “It’s amazing to be out there, because you get a much deeper understanding.”
Butler is minoring in public law and he’s part of the Kearney Law Opportunities Program (KLOP), a partnership between UNK and the University of Nebraska College of Law that recruits and trains students to become lawyers in rural areas. Participants receive a full-tuition scholarship to attend UNK and guaranteed admission to the College of Law in Lincoln if all requirements are met.
Previously, Butler completed an internship with Smith’s district office in Nebraska and the Buffalo County Attorney’s Office. “I would 100% recommend going to D.C.,” he said.