GINGER SLENTZ BOSTON UNIVERSITY
A few days before starting TANIP you could ask anyone at home, I did not want to go to Washington D.C. and had no plans on working in Congress post grad. However now reflecting on my summer with TANIP, as cheesy as it sounds, I can say it was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
During my time with TANIP I was able to meet with professionals all over D.C. in many different areas of politics and hear the stories of how their careers got to where they are now. This opened my eyes to the variety of jobs there are to pursue after graduation. During orientation week we were able to become more comfortable with the city and learn about the impact that USAI has. For my congressional internship portion of the program I interned at Congressman Tony Cardenas office. I was lucky and Congressman Cardenas’ district was right next to my home district which made understanding constituents issues easier. CA 29 has a very high population of Thai people and it was important to me to see how other minorities were reaching out in their district so I could bring back these ideas to the Thai Community in Los Angeles. During my time in the office I was able to communicate with constituents from the district and hear what issues and problems were directly affecting them. I was also able to work on issues that I was passionate about while having a supportive staff to guide me along. My staff became mentors giving me great advice on projects I worked on in the office but also on school and career plans. During my time at the office I was able to attend many briefings and talks but by far my favorite experience was getting to meet Senator Tammy Duckworth. As someone who is half Thai and half caucasian very rarely do I see someone in the media or position of power that looks like me. Meeting someone one of my role models/idols was a life changing experience especially
when she called us part of her “squad”. Overall my time spent in Washington D.C. thanks to the Royal Thai Embassy and USAI was a life changing experience. Without TANIP I would lack the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in a field I want after graduation.