A Monash University student recently returned from the United States where he took part in a prestigious internship program which gave him rare access to the US political system.
James Brooks, a fifth-year Arts/Law student at Monash University’s Clayton campus, was one of only 12 university students, and the first from Monash, selected from almost 100 applicants to take part in the Uni-Capitol Washington Internship Program (UCWIP).
The students were placed in a range of Democrat, Republican, House, Senate, personal and committee offices for their two-month internships in Capitol Hill, Washington.
“I worked in the Office of Representative Jerrold Nadler from New York,” James said.
“My role involved a lot of constituent contact and required me to work closely with staff and other interns in the office. There was a sense that, even as an intern, I was involved in important issues as they unfolded on ‘the Hill’.”
In addition to the daily work in their respective offices, the interns attended a host of briefings, meetings and other events aimed to broaden their understanding of American politics and international relations.
“Highlights for me included attending the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony, visiting the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York and meeting former Transportation and Commerce Secretary, Norman Mineta, who was in his role on September 11, 2001.”
James said one thing the program taught him was despite the similarities between Australia and the US, there are fundamental differences between the two countries with respect to political discourse, culture and institutions.
“We were in Washington D.C. while the Congress was debating gun control, the fiscal cliff and sequestration. The kind of debate we saw simply wouldn’t happen in Australia,” James said.
“Opportunities for foreigners to work in the US Congress are few and far between. I’m very grateful to have had such an enriching and unique experience.”
Monash University is one of a select number of Australian universities who participate in the UCWIP. James is currently completing a research task for his law studies, comparing campaign finance laws in the US and Australia.
ARC success for DP, DECRA and FT (for funding commencing in 2017)
The results for the ARC DP, DECRA (for funding commencing in 2017) and FT (for … Continue reading ARC success for DP, DECRA and FT (for funding commencing in 2017)
Summer Research Internship Program 2016/2017
The Arts Internship Program is pleased to introduce the Summer Research Internship Program 2016/2017. The … Continue reading Summer Research Internship Program 2016/2017
Children and the criminal justice system: How young is too young?
Monash criminologist Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon has published an article in The Guardian today with Deakin … Continue reading Children and the criminal justice system: How young is too young?
Opening of the John Legge Study Space in the Menzies Building
Staff and students in Arts came together to celebrate the official opening of the John … Continue reading Opening of the John Legge Study Space in the Menzies Building
Winners announced for Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Publication Prize
The Faculty of Arts extends its congratulations to Julian Koplin who was recently awarded the … Continue reading Winners announced for Faculty of Arts Postgraduate Publication Prize
World first at Monash: Chair in Cultural Linguistics appointed to Farzad Sharifian
Professor Farzad Sharifian has recently been appointed as the Chair in Cultural Linguistics at Monash, … Continue reading World first at Monash: Chair in Cultural Linguistics appointed to Farzad Sharifian
sensiLab Forum: Communications and Media Studies’ Daniel Black
A key initiator of the spread of digital interfaces into our everyday lives was the … Continue reading sensiLab Forum: Communications and Media Studies’ Daniel Black
Australia’s declining investment in quality university teaching
Margaret Gardner, President and Vice-Chancellor, Monash University Teaching is at the core of what Australian … Continue reading Australia’s declining investment in quality university teaching
The Big Idea Competition
Interested in doing something positive for your community? Do you see yourself as a little … Continue reading The Big Idea Competition
Digital Humanities offers global learning opportunity
A unit in Digital Humanities will be available to undergraduate students at Monash University and … Continue reading Digital Humanities offers global learning opportunity
Monash graduate named CEO of the year
Monash alumni Karl Redenbach (BA 1999, LLB 2000), currently head of a global technology company LiveTiles, has … Continue reading Monash graduate named CEO of the year
Monash social scientists recognised
Four Monash social scientists have been recognised for their distinguished achievements and exceptional contributions by … Continue reading Monash social scientists recognised