Internship Spotlight – Vanessa Ruiz, Office of Senator John McCain

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Vanessa is a Business Management major expecting to graduate this coming Winter. This summer she worked as a Congressional Intern for the Office of Senator John McCain in Washington, D.C. She lived in a dorm at George Washington University for the summer.

How did you land this internship?

Back in March of 2016, Senator McCain attended an endorsement event of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for the 2016 United States Senate election in Arizona. My father who was previously the Chairman of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was asked to host the event at his small business, HT Metals. I attended the event and personally spoke with Senator McCain after the event about school and my aspirations. After a few minutes of speaking with him, he offered me a Summer Internship in his D.C. office on the spot. For the summer of 2016, I already had an internship lined up. I asked Senator McCain if I could be an intern for the summer of 2017 and he agreed.

What was a typical day like?

Every day in the Russell Senate Office Building was different. I would respond to Arizona constituents by writing personalized letters, record constituents views on specific issues by answering phones, conducted research for Legislative Correspondents and Legislative Assistants, utilized the IQ system, and gave personalized tours of the United States Capitol for Arizona constituents. I also attended hearings for different committees like the Armed Services Committee and Intelligence Committee.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part of the internship was the endless opportunities that the program gave me. I was able to attend high profile hearings and the Capitol Hill National Security Forum. I was fortunate to meet Senators, Congressmen, and the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

How did Eller prepare you for your internship?

In the first semester of Eller, you are required to take Business Communications (BCOM 314). This class has helped me throughout college and prepared me for my internship. Business Communications and other management classes helped me stand out from the other interns. The Eller College of Management gave me the skills of leadership, professionalism, teamwork, and problem solving that allowed me to succeed in my internship.