By Debbie Siegelbaum - 06/09/11 10:52 PM EDT
Title: Legislative assistant
Education: Miami University
Last job: Legislative and communications assistant, Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio)
Legislative specialty: Natural resources, energy, defense, foreign affairs and homeland security
Favorite bill or law: H.R. 1904, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act
If you could create a new committee or subcommittee, what would it be?: The Select Committee on the Bowl Championship Series (BCS)
Most embarrassing moment on Capitol Hill: I started on the Hill before the Capitol Visitor Center opened, and after it opened I got my boss, meetings for my boss, and constituents lost there all the time. It took me over a year to get my bearings — the place is a maze.
Interests outside of work: Cooking, the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals, Arkansas and Ohio State football, the Washington Capitals, reading, mindless television, any activities that involve being out on the water.
Many on Capitol Hill toil in internships, working for months in the hopes of landing a full-time congressional staffer job. For Jeremy Harrell, his intern career lasted just one day.
Harrell moved to Washington after college to intern in the office of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), but quickly learned of an open staffer position in Rep. Mike Turner’s (R-Ohio) office.
“I interviewed that first day, and it was a quick turnaround,” he said, landing the job later that evening. Friends in Jordan’s office “always joke that I’m the intern that leaped the fastest.”
Harrell hasn’t looked back, working for Turner for two years before joining freshman Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Ariz.) staff in January. Though he — and many staffers — keep a grueling schedule, Harrell also finds time to pursue a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University part-time.
“It’s tough, it’s long hours, it’s stressful and not everyone can handle it,” he said of his work. “But it’s really an opportunity where you can have a major impact on people’s lives.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be passing a major bill or something like that. Just really bringing [an] issue to light and utilizing the resources you have here,” he added. “I think that’s pretty cool.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that this Ohio native has lost his love for the Midwest.
“I miss the small things, like Cincinnati sports and Cincinnati chili,” he said. “I miss Midwest people. You walk down the street with a smile and they’ll say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ You don’t get that so much on the East Coast.”
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