David Hogan’s first visit to Washington, DC wasn’t one of touring monuments or taking in the grand architecture; he had arrived for the job experience of a lifetime. The junior from Hammond spent four weeks in June interning for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.
Hogan, a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Northwestern State University, hopes to one day pursue a career in law or politics. He jumped at the opportunity to explore these interests in a real-world setting. Almost a year in advance he began the lengthy process of apply. A letter of interest, an application, and three letters of recommendation later, he was accepted.
Twenty students from across the country were accepted for the highly-selective internship. Hogan was the only student chosen from the Senator’s home state of Louisiana. Other interns attend Notre Dame, Boise State, Alabama, Harvard, Davidson, University of Pennsylvania, and Rhodes.
Over the summer Hogan joined two other interns on Landrieu’s legislative research team. Responsible for researching possible bills, they spent time exploring the benefits of next-generation small nuclear reactors. The project proved to be a valuable lesson about congressional staff members. “Behind every lawmaker are dozens of people helping shape the nation. Our representatives are only as effective as the people in their office.”
One month in Washington instilled a lifetime of professional skills. Hogan said he improved his interpersonal skills and learned about meeting deadlines and working under pressure. “No job is as daunting as it may seem at first. It’s only as hard as you make it.”
Hogan eventually did find time to step away from Senator Landrieu’s office to enjoy being a tourist. “It’s a breathtaking city. I wouldn’t mind living here one day,” he said. Who knows if his experience may come full-circle many years later, winding up in the pinnacle of the political world.