Intern of the Week: From Los Angeles to the Beltway

From the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” to congressmen in suits, 20-year-old Ashley Howell of Los Angeles is at ease in any crowd.
She started an internship at the beginning of the month in Rep. Ken Calvert’s (R-Calif.) office.

The new intern walks with her shoulders squared, poised for anything that may come her way.

“I live in downtown L.A., so nothing freaks me out,” she said. “But the heat here is a wardrobe challenge.”

A rising senior at the University of Southern California, she is studying public policy and peace and conflict studies. She worked with Lockheed Martin the last two summers, and hopes to return to D.C. post-graduation to work on the Hill.

D.C. offers a different sort of “drama,” as Howell put it, than her hometown. Since arriving, she said she has seen a lot of congressmen rather than celebrities. In Los Angeles she has been to the Screen Actors Guild awards twice with a friend who works in the film industry, and says the cast of “Grey’s” was the nicest of the celebrities she met. Apparently one of the cast members, T.R. Knight, whom she considers a personal friend, even called her mom just to talk.

But she’s not Hollywood star-struck. “I’d rather run into Condoleezza Rice than Brad Pitt,” she said. “I’ve always emulated politicians.”