Annie Hoefler '15 in front of her workplace, the U.S. Senate.

Annie Hoefler ’15 in front of her workplace, the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Dylan Crouse)

Colgate students are participating in internships in a variety of fields and locations this summer. This post is by Annie Hoefler ’15, a geography major from Anchorage, Alaska, who is working with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

This summer, I have the honor of interning for U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as part of the Republican staff on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

I first developed a love for the Arctic region while growing up in Alaska, and I have learned about geopolitical issues in the North through my geography studies at Colgate. My internship allows me to pursue my passion for studying the Arctic, while also offering me the opportunity to learn about the plethora of energy-related issues — including energy security and water policy — that the United States and Alaska face.

In the summer of 2011, I interned in Senator Murkowski’s personal office. Staying in contact with the connections I made during that internship and receiving a letter of recommendation from geography professor Ellen Kraly helped me secure my position for this summer.

My day-to-day tasks have included researching federal spending, composing a media directory for the communications director, and writing memos regarding hearings and briefings that I have attended on behalf of committee staffers. I have used the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills I learned at Colgate to help create maps and have been entrusted with overseeing a group of high school interns from Alaska. I have had the opportunity to listen to House Speaker John Boehner; attend various committee hearings, such as one on the nexus of energy and water for the Sustainability Act of 2014; and I was able to be on the Senate floor while Senator Murkowski spoke about student debt.

In addition to my internship, spending the summer in Washington, D.C., has allowed me to hike in Shenandoah National Park, tour the Smithsonian Museum, and run along the National Mall. I am looking forward to spending the Fourth of July in our nation’s capital.

I have loved my time working for Senator Murkowski and appreciate feeling like a valued member of the energy and natural resources team. After graduation, I am interested in pursuing a career that would allow me to highlight the importance of the Arctic and the reasons why Alaska and the United States are in a unique position to be leaders in the North.