Name: Camron Razdar
Hometown: Clarkston, MI
Major: Political ScienceMinor: Computer Science
Internship placement: Office of Senator Stabenow
Why did you decide to do Michigan in Washington?
I applied to Michigan in Washington because I saw the program as an opportunity to get a feel for Washington, D.C. and build some relationships while still having the resources and comfort that come with being a student at the University of Michigan. I have been enamored with Capitol Hill ever since I visited here in high school, so it’s been a dream of mine to intern with a Michigan congressional office to learn some of the inside baseball. MIW gave me the training and connections I needed to successfully apply to internships to make that dream a reality.
What do you do during a typical day at your internship?
As a legislative intern for Senator Stabenow, I am primarily responsible for corresponding with constituents and helping our legislative team by researching policy and writing memos. On the constituent side of my work, I welcome people and take calls at our front desk, and I sort through mail. With being so far from home, it’s refreshing and exciting to meet folks from across Michigan. On the policy side of my internship, I have worked with a couple of our legislative teams on education and voting access issues. One of the great things about my office is that interns are trusted with autonomy. I have gone to some fascinating intelligence hearings and watched the senators vote to end the government shutdown, and I am allowed to attend those types of events whenever they come up as long as I keep getting my work done. Interning on the Hill while in MIW also has a really great perk in that there are many other interns on the Hill from the program, so we regularly meet up to get lunch.
Which elective are you taking and what’s the most interesting part of the class?
I am taking Professor Goldstein’s course called “The Science of Politics: Campaigns and Elections.” One of the things you’ll hear Dr. Goldstein say time and again is that elections are all about the letters. The letters are the variables in the formulas he created for calculating vote share and performance in elections. It’s been interesting diving in to all of the numbers of past elections and learning about factors that influence elections.
What do you like to do in D.C. during your free time?
Washington is an exciting city because it not only has deep historical roots, but it also has a lot of vibrant destinations. Many of the museums in D.C. are free, and I’ve really enjoyed visiting the National Portrait Gallery, the Air and Space Museum, and the Renwick. I’ve also caught myself going to the Madison Cafe in the Library of Congress many times, as it’s right near where I work and it has a great view of the Hill. The food scene in Washington is incredible, especially when it comes to brunches.
What’s something on your D.C. bucket list?
One of the trailblazers of the food world, José Andrés, calls the D.C. area his home, and I hope to save up enough money or use some of the cultural enrichment scholarship to go to one of his restaurants. It’s also on my bucket list to one day walk on to the Senate and House Floors.
What advice would you give to a student interested in Michigan in Washington?
If you are at all thinking about coming out to D.C. for a future career, apply to Michigan in Washington! Not only will you get the opportunity to understand if D.C. is the place for you, but the MIW faculty and staff (Dr. Bednar, Dr. Howard, Amber, and Zach) work hard to get every student invaluable connections. With the large University of Michigan alumni base in the D.C. area, being a part of the Michigan in Washington program will help you build lifelong relationships. Lastly, reach out to a recent MIW alum or current student if you have any questions!