Intern of the week: She’s brilliant!

When Katie Showman, a new intern in Rep. Robert Wexler’s (D-Fla.) office, speaks, people listen. And it’s not just because her accent conjures images of Harry Potter. The fact is, the Manchester, England, native tells it like it is.

“I miss my friends, [but] I don’t miss England,” she said. “When you come here, England just seems rubbish.”

Showman, 21, is an exchange student from the University of Leeds, majoring in politics and parliamentary studies. In Washington, she remarks, the people are nicer, the weather is warmer and the prices are lower.

In Wexler’s office, Showman sorts mail, conducts research, writes letters to constituents, attends hearings and answers phones.

“Answering the phone is always entertaining to see if people understand what I say,” she said. “I’ve had a few [callers ask], ‘Are you an American citizen?’ And they seem outraged when I say no.”

But most people are friendly, Showman said, and they generally love the accent. She said she finds American government more partisan than she learned in school, but that the politicians here have more noble intentions than she anticipated.

“I was quite skeptical about politicians just following their own interests,” she said, “but I found out they care about the real issues. It changed my perception about politics.”

Next semester, Showman is scheduled to intern with a member of the British Parliament. While she has not decided on a career, she says she plans to go to London after graduation and will consider opportunities in politics or law. As much as she loves the weather, people and prices here, she says she can’t imagine leaving England permanently. The U.K. will always be home, she says, and America has its flaws.

“I love America, but I think some things are a bit backward,” she said, citing the high drinking age here and the healthcare system.