June 27, 2016 – Meet one of our 2016 Science Policy Interns, Alexandra Cantrell, from Texas A&M University. Alexandra shares some of the experiences that helped prepare her for an internship in Washington, D.C. She also shares advice for other college students who are considering applying for the ASAS Science Policy Summer Internship.
Howdy! My name is Alexandra Cantrell, and I am a current American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) Science Policy Intern for Congressman Mike Conaway, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee within the House of Representatives.
Coming to work in Washington, D.C. was something I never thought I would accomplish growing up. I was raised on a ranch close to Fort Worth, Texas and working in politics seemed way out of my reach before college. After my first year at Texas A&M, ag policy became an ever-growing interest of mine. Issues in agriculture are a big part of classroom discussions and assignments when you are an animal science major, and learning about the issues that affect our industry is something that I am passionate about. Finding my passion in animal science is what led me to Washington, D.C.
The best thing that prepared me for this internship was working for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. I worked for them during the summer of 2014, and I was able to participate in different conventions and meetings that focus on policies that impact the beef industry. Being surrounded by industry leaders and teaching about their vast knowledge on the issues, motivated me to take a more active role in our government which led me to this internship. This past internship provided me with the skill set I needed to take on Capitol Hill, and my advice to future Capitol Hill interns is to seek out those types of internships before coming here. A few of my fellow interns worked in local representative offices within their own districts and it helped them gain the experience they needed. However, any internship or job can help you achieve this goal as long as it pushes work ethic, learning, and motivation.