Gaucho Summer Experience Spotlight: Sonia Patel

Wondering what to do this summer? Get inspired by other Gauchos who took on summer experiences!


Name: Sonia Patel

Major: Political Science

Location: Washington D.C.

Employer: Office of Congresswoman Julia Brownley

1. Briefly describe a typical day at your internship/research/volunteer experience, such as the type of training you received or project you worked on. Any highlights or favorite moments? 

As an intern for the Office of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, I assisted on a variety of administrative and legislative tasks. A large component of the internship was conducting legislative research on veterans affairs, environmental research, health care, and monetary policy that was utilized in the formation of bills. Additionally, I had the opportunity to attend various hearings and briefings regarding foreign affairs and judicial proceedings. My favorite moments were when I provided tours of the Capitol building to constituents from the district.

2. How did this experience help you to explore and prepare for your career goals? (i.e. consider the biggest take-away(s) or skills from the experience that will help you in the future; or valuable connections you made along the way).

This experience has significantly helped me prepare for my career goals. I learned how to adapt to a professional work environment in Washington D.C. and truly began to learn how to network. After this internship, I am more clear about the steps that I need to take to get into law school and how a law degree can be applied in the workplace.

3. What did you learn most about yourself or about the position that you did not know before after taking part in it?

After my experience in Washington D.C, I learned many things about myself, both personally and professionally. I am no longer scared or hesitant to take on challenges that are out of my comfort zone because living alone in a new city for two months across the country was the biggest challenge I’d have to face for a while.

4. What 1-2 pieces of advice would you give to fellow Gauchos to help them find and apply to this specific internship/research/volunteer position?

Be willing to explore events and positions that are out of your comfort zone.

Thanks to our participants for sharing all about their summers! To learn more about Getting Experience, check out our website: