5 Things I Learned

Jill Mundung '24

Welcome to our 5 Things I Learned blog series, where UNH students from all colleges and majors share the UNH experience that changed everything for them and what they learned from it.

How do you become a congressional intern? Jill '24, a political science major and communication minor, shares tips for networking to get an internship and 5 things learned through working as a press intern for Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi through the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

Jill Mundung and Nancy Pelosi
Jill Mundung '24, congressional intern, with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi
Photo credit: Grayson Kisker


APAICS congressional interns at our program graduation

Me and the other APAICS congressional interns at our program graduation! All of us identify as AANHPIs.

Photo credit: Kaz Sasahara

1. Communities Are Everywhere

My summer with the office of Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi would not have happened without the help of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). APAICS is a non-profit organization that focuses on introducing Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (AA & NHPIs) to public service through their congressional internship and fellowship programs.

There’s no doubt that American politics have long been dominated by White individuals, and APAICS seeks to provide a space for marginalized communities to improve representation within public service. Through their congressional internship program, I was introduced to tons of other AA & NHPIs and people of color in Washington, D.C. who were as passionate as me about public service and working towards increasing diversity within it.

APAICS program graduation speech

Out of our cohort of 17 congressional interns, I was nominated to do a speech for our class at our APAICS program graduation.

Photo credit: Grayson Kisker

2. Advocating for Yourself Is Essential

After my fall with The Washington Center and the office of Senator Maggie Hassan, I took it upon myself to search for a summer internship in Washington, D.C. With a simple Google search, I found out about APAICS. To prepare for my application and interviews, I reached out to the staffers in my office and asked for their advice and help. Without their help and their connections, I don’t think I would’ve been as successful. 

A former staffer from Senator Hassan’s office told me once that I was the best advocate for myself — no one knew me better than myself. It’s crucial for me and other individuals who hold marginalized identities to know that there are people in Washington, D.C. who have shared lived experiences. Being able to make connections and advocate for myself has made an already intimidating space much more welcoming. 

Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce press conference

I attended the Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce press conference right outside the Capitol where I got to hear the Speaker Emerita and other members of Congress speak.

3. How to Navigate the Press and Communications Sides of Politics

Before my two internships in the press, I had no idea that congressional offices even had press internships! When I first started studying political science, I thought there were only two possible career paths – being a lawyer or being an international diplomat. It wasn’t until I took classes in the communication department that I noticed the huge amount of overlap between communication and political science.

This inspired me to seek out internships that took the overlap into account, which led me to find out about congressional press internships. In the Speaker Emerita’s office, I learned how to collect daily press clips and draft press statements, quotes and memos and advance press conferences.

Celebrating the 4th of July on the steps of the Capitol.

Celebrating the Fourth of July on the steps of the Capitol.

4. Keep up With Your Connections

I don’t think I’ve ever networked so hard in my life before this summer! Luckily, with the help of APAICS, I was able to attend networking events two or three times a week on top of scheduling coffee chats with people I previously worked with and other staffers who were suggested to me. I learned about the importance of not only networking with so many people but the importance of keeping up with my new connections.

After chatting with people, I’d make sure to keep in touch with them by sending them mini updates throughout my semester so they could keep me on their radar! When networking, it’s important to make sure people don’t forget you.

breakfast at the Capitol

Me and the other interns having breakfast with Speaker Emerita and some staffers. We had breakfast in the Member’s Dining Hall where we got to ask her questions about her career and advice she had for us.

Photo credit: Grayson Kisker

5. The Differences Between Working in a Senate and a House Office

After interning in a Senate office, I knew I wanted to see what it was like to work in a House of Representatives office. The major difference was the size of the staff, since Senate offices are much bigger than House offices. The benefits of a small office are the opportunity to get closer to the staff and having a wider range of assigned tasks.

In the Speaker Emerita’s office, not only was I in charge of the press tasks, but I also got to deal with constituent calls and scheduling appointments for the staff. As the sole press intern in the office, it was nice to be able to see how the legislative staff worked and interact with them more! The House side of the Capitol also has a lot more food options, which was another benefit. 


read more "5 things I learned" blog posts

enroll today



5 Things I Learned Interning for Senator Maggie Hassan & Working for the NH Judicial Branch

Abigail learned how public speaking can get easier with practice and that the experiences you have as a college student can shape your future career trajectory. 

 read more about abigail