Niko Malhotra ’24

Office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Washington, D.C.

This summer I was privileged to work as a legislative intern in the office of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Washington, D.C. This immersive experience in Congress was instrumental in both shaping my career goals as well as deepening my respect for the dedicated public servants who drive the American legislative process.

As an intern, I helped manage the necessary administrative tasks of a congressional front office. I answered hundreds of constituent phone calls a week, sorted the roughly 30,000 emails Sen. Rubio received each week, gave tours around the Capitol building, and sent out flags flown at the Capitol to Florida residents celebrating special occasions. Additionally, I worked on fascinating policy projects for Sen. Rubio’s policy staff. I wrote memos on several hearings that I attended, such as on the housing crisis, spectrum auctions and U.S.-China policy in the Pacific Island Nations. I conducted research for legislative correspondents and legislative assistants on Chinese chip manufacturers, Covid-19 vaccination rates in the U.S. military and compiled evidence supporting different provisions of Sen. Rubio’s Providing for Life Act framework. This breadth of exposure to different policy areas helped deepen my understanding of American public policy, especially on important issues that do not always grab media headlines such as semiconductor manufacturing or broadband deployment.

The most exciting part of the internship was the energy I felt walking the halls of Congress. As an intern, I would regularly walk past dozens of senators of both parties as they headed to votes or committee hearings. However, most inspiring was the dedication of congressional staffers in Sen. Rubio’s office, often in their 20s, who would tirelessly work to carry out policy initiatives and serve the 21 million people of Florida. My colleagues on the policy staff, while not much older than I, were leading major policy initiatives that have a real tangible impact on Americans’ lives. I was fortunate to witness from the Senate gallery the passing of the PACT Act, a major expansion of veteran healthcare benefits to which Sen. Rubio was a key contributor. Watching my colleagues’ efforts transform into real policy impacting American people was inspiring and helped me realize that working as a policy staffer on Capitol Hill is the career path I want to pursue.

I really appreciated the internship program’s emphasis on professional development by encouraging coffee chats with different staffers. Through these conversations, I was able to better understand the responsibilities of various positions, the career paths of different staffers and their advice on how to navigate a career path on Capitol Hill. I am especially thankful to Chief of Staff Mike Needham ’04 and Legislative Assistant James Hitchcock ’15 for providing me with crucial insight and guidance throughout my internship.

This internship was an incredible experience for developing my passions for politics and public policy while connecting these interests with a potential career path after Williams. I cannot thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and the Estate of George Mead enough for supporting this internship opportunity this summer.