UCDC Alumni – Tanner Rowland

Person standing in a room

Internship: The Office of Chairman Pete Aguilar

Term of Participation: Fall 2022

What was your role during the internship?

I served as a congressional intern in the Office of Chairman Aguilar in the U.S. House of Representatives. In this role, I attended in-person and virtual briefings which focused on an array of policy areas. I was introduced to how policy-writing works, I aided the staffers with legislative research, and I answered constituent phone calls. Making a difference by helping constituents with their requests, and listening to their perspective on modern-day political issues was a very rewarding experience. It was an honor to serve my direct community, the Inland Empire, through this internship experience.

How did your internship influence your career goals?

My career goals remain the same. While I do not know exactly what I want to do yet, I am passionate about the election process, voter rights, and election mechanics. I hope to be a force in my future endeavors toward ensuring fair elections that encourage widespread participation. Democracy is sacred, and I care deeply about maintaining its strength in our elections process despite attempts to undermine it. 

What is an exciting memory from your time in D.C.?

Chairman Aguilar served on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. I had the unexpected and incredible opportunity to sit in on the Select Committee’s ninth hearing, in which they unanimously voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump to testify. This is an experience I will never forget — being in the room, witnessing American history take place before me. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity. 

Did your internship lead to any opportunities? 

This internship expanded my network of mentors and peers on the Hill. I am so fortunate for the connections I made during my time there. 

Share a story about something special you did in Washington – an event you attended, a place you went, an exciting talk, etc.

I had the opportunity to visit the National Archives Museum, where I saw the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. I went with some of my peers from the UCDC program and we had an incredible time! 

How has living in the nation’s capital for a quarter changed you?

Living in the nation’s capital helped develop my personal perspective on American politics. The trajectory of many modern political issues can sometimes feel disheartening and discouraging. However, being in D.C., witnessing how lively and engaged people are in making positive change was inspiring and motivating. I was reminded that change can happen, and that I can help contribute to it. It made me even more inspired to pursue a career in elections to strengthen and expand the rights of others.  

What advice do you have for future students?

Get out and explore! There is so much to see in Washington, and much of it is free. D.C. is full of history and life, go out and check it out!

Last modified: Jun 14, 2024