Josh Mendelson - Vanderbilt University - Summer 2017
Summer internships are meant to provide substantive knowledge and skills to college students. They are intended to give young people a glimpse into what it’s like to work in a certain industry. Unfortunately, many fall short of this standard. I can confidently say that Capitol Associates provides its interns with a work environment that is both nurturing and challenging. The work you will be asked to do will require critical thinking, analytic skills, solid research, and clear writing.
Interns are never tasked with busy work. Instead, they actively assist in the work that the associates perform on behalf of clients. The guarantee that you will engage in meaningful work is what makes the internship so unique.
The work environment fosters debate, thought, and disagreement. Interns will have their views challenged and their notions of “left vs. right” or “good policy” tested. Although CAI is a healthcare-focused firm, interns will leave with a strong understanding of numerous policy issues as well as the regulatory and legislative processes.
What makes CAI special is the intimate size of the firm. Though the work may be serious, each day is also filled with laughs. The Capitol Associates team shares morning coffee and lunch each day, something that is hard to find at other workplaces. Interns are encouraged to ask questions, and you can be promised to receive sincere answers. Capitol Associates is not looking for interns to have a thorough understanding of healthcare policy when starting, they simply must be ready to smile, ask questions, and learn.
Krupa Zachariah – University of Georgia – Spring 2017
I applied to work for Capitol Associates with not much knowledge about the workings of our nation’s health care system, but that I had a very strong interest in learning about it. I am very grateful for my time here at Capitol Associates Inc. (CAI) as I have left a with a more developed understanding of the political system and health care.
What I appreciated the most as an intern at CAI was that almost all my projects were research and policy oriented. Through my internship here, I had gotten the freedom and time to thoroughly understand policy areas and issues related to our clients. One that fascinated me in particular was price transparency in our health care system. Although I was nervous initially, everyone at the firm was incredibly helpful and caring.
I truly enjoyed coming in to work every day to engage in conversation about politics, healthcare and what else is going on in the world that week. Bill, Carolyn, Nathan and Matt were a pleasure to be around. The best thing about this internship is that the work I did further strengthened my interest towards the health care arena. I would certainly recommend this internship program for anyone seeking to gain experience in government affairs.
Asad Karamally - Penn State - Fall 2016
Although, I had originally expected to work at a larger firm in downtown D.C., I’m very glad I chose Capitol Associates instead. The semester I have spent here has been invaluable in providing me with a much clearer, in-depth understanding of the way institutions and groups within our political system interact, exactly what I had hoped to gain through my time in D.C.
As an intern at CAI, I had the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge base to a much greater extent than some of my friends at larger organizations. The atmosphere at the firm is extremely conducive to learning; whether through independent research or simply by asking those around me questions. Although, navigating my way through the complex field of healthcare legislation and regulations has been painstaking and intimidating at times, the guidance of Bill, Carolyn, Matt, and Nathan has been extraordinary in making me feel at home in this environment.
I’ve had the opportunity to regularly work on assignments that, with a little editing, go directly to clients; the freedom to attend hearings on Capitol Hill; and most importantly the pleasure to work with some truly wonderful, insightful, and caring individuals here at Capitol Associates.
Alex Ehat - University of Pennsylvania - Summer 2016
Entering Capitol Associates Inc. (CAI) I had a poor concept of what my future held, and an even poorer understanding of America’s health care system. Like whoever is reading this, I needed an internship that would stand-out on a resume to help me secure a respectable job post-graduation; however, CAI truly is so much more than just a resume booster.
If you have interest in learning about how things actually go down on Capitol Hill (in any policy area) this is absolutely the place for you. As an intern here you aren’t restricted to certain tasks or topics, and you get exposed to near-every type of governmental interaction at every level of significance. By working with a broad base of topics and clients, and by consistently performing diverse types of work each day, it feels easy to learn a lot about Capitol Hill’s inner-workings without getting bored.
It goes without saying that by working here you receive an incredibly in-depth look into American health care, and you will undoubtedly walk away with at-least a cursory understanding of the ins-and-outs of the industry. So if you’re like me and you apply here knowing next-to-nothing about health care, don’t stress. As long as you’re willing to ask the questions and work hard, you’ll be fine.
The best argument I can make for why you should apply to Capitol Associates, is that I legitimately enjoy coming in to work. The conversation is lively, the people are great, and I feel like the work I’ve done has actually counted for something.
Cullen Biever - Penn State - Spring 2015
My name is Cullen Biever and I am double majoring in Political Science and Health Policy & Administration (HPA) at the Pennsylvania State University. My experience as a Legislative Intern at Capitol Associates Inc. (CAI) was truly an eye-opening and educational experience. I was able to work in Alexandria, VA for an entire semester under seasoned health experts to learn about health policy and legislation. To say my time at CAI was an unforgettable experience would be an understatement. I have worked at a Community Healthcare Clinic and a regional hospital, but neither job was quite as unique or worthwhile as my time at CAI. Working for a healthcare lobbying firm required me to provide clients with reliable information through extensive research and trustworthy sources. While the legislative rhetoric was oftentimes confusing to understand, my coworkers never hesitated to help me produce quality work and analysis for our clients on a timely basis. Whether I was drafting complex health memos or attending congressional hearings on capital hill, I was always pushed to learn about health legislation and seek out opportunities I otherwise would not be able to outside of Washington DC.
Lasanthi Fernando - Penn State - Summer 2015
Seven years of working toward law school changed in three months because of my fortuitous internship at Capitol Associates Inc (CAI). Truthfully, I did not take the change well considering I had five months to turn around from applying to law school to studying for the GREs and applying for graduate school, all the while working on my thesis, collaborating on a think tank, and taking seven courses. But not for a moment was I ungrateful to CAI for saving me from blindly pursuing the wrong profession. My interest resides in healthcare and I learned how to achieve my goal through my time at CAI. CAI offered multifaceted opportunities to try on the many shoes of healthcare professions ultimately providing robust experiences. Notably, CAI does this through two dimensions.
One dimension is the day to day work itself. I'll preface that my academic background is in Philosophy and Economics. As such, my familiarity with healthcare at the inception of the internship was rudimentary at best. But the work at CAI sets up a very steep learning curve. First there are the morning conversations on 1) updates on the field of healthcare, or 2) a rapid fire back-and-forth on how a hypothetical X scenarios would change healthcare. These non-traditional starts to the morning gear one up for the rest of the day and gets one to think in creative ways that will never be taught in a textbook. Next, healthcare documents can be very dense and byzantine in nature. To mitigate jumping into the deep end, interns, like myself, were encouraged to read the news on healthcare topics and get ones feet wet and accustom to the terminologies and names of relevance. Because news articles are written in layperson language, it is really manageable to kick into gear with more substantive documents in the Federal Register. These precursors are the foundations to the zenith of the learning curve: to actually put on the shoes and walk! CAI offers interns the invaluable opportunity to attend Congressional hearings at Capitol Hill and be around the juggernauts of healthcare reform. Because a profession in healthcare is never restricted just to staring at a computer, attending these live sessions is a good wake-up call to understand the environment of healthcare policies in all its forms and with many of its players.
Though attending events on Capitol Hill can be on/off, every single day there is a new experience to be gained because of the varied experiences of everyone at CAI. By far the most valuable asset I gained from my internship is the interaction with the CAI team. Because everyone brings something different to the table, in one afternoon one can gain decades of glimpses of working in the healthcare field superior to being on Capitol Hill. The President of CAI, Bill, is "been there, done that" kind of guy for all things healthcare! And he is such a raconteur that his anecdotes paint a comprehensive picture that it's almost like you were present for the experience. Even the different beliefs of the members aid with learning about all things healthcare. Right at the lunch table you get to learn arguments from each side of the political spectrum.
CAI was specifically impactful on me because it offered every flavor of healthcare either through the work or through the interactions with the team. Testing the healthcare waters with the safety and guidance of CAI ultimately got me to the right career path.
Cassandra Perkins - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Summer 2014
As an intern for Capitol Associates Inc., I gained substantive experience with some of the core functions that government relations firms provide, like conducting primary and secondary research, creating policy briefs, and interacting with public officials and clients. Working at a smaller firm afforded ample opportunities for face-to-face communication and collaboration with the principal lobbyist and other associates, who were always approachable and eager to help me learn. Not only did I drastically improve my subject matter expertise of the health care industry, but I also gained an insider-perspective into how political strategy is employed to achieve a client’s objectives.
Overall, the internship strengthened my interest in government relations while equipping me with the know-how to advance my career goals in public policy and communications. I would highly recommend this program to any candidate who is looking for meaningful experience in government affairs.
Lara Burt - University of Michigan - Summer 2014
I had a wonderful internship experience at Capitol Associates Inc. During my time at CAI, I expanded my knowledge significantly about the health care industry and how a government relations firm functions. As an intern, I had the opportunity to assist in the preparation of briefs and memos on relevant legislation and regulations, attend and report on numerous conferences and hearings on the Hill pertaining to health care and write and edit articles for Capitol Associates’ monthly “Washington Report.” On top of all of the wonderful learning experiences I had as an intern at CAI, the staff was also very friendly and always willing to answer any questions that I had.
Overall the internship at CAI was a great experience not only due to the fact that it was a tremendous opportunity to learn, but also because of the relationship that I built.