Shivani Thapar, an information systems and operations management junior, was interested in expanding her network and gaining a new skill set when searching for a summer internship. After talking with friends who held various internships on Capitol Hill, she applied for a congressional internship.
Thapar, originally from Fairfax, VA, wanted to major in information systems and operations management because it was “the perfect balance of technology and operations for almost any line of work.” She also knew that the skills she’d learn in her major “would open many doors,” such as the congressional internship.
From May to June, she served as a congressional intern for Congressman Pete Sessions’ office. Sessions represents the 32nd district of Texas in the House of Representatives.
“Given the new administration and current political climate, I wanted to take a deeper look into the policies which will shape and influence the tech world. I felt that this internship added an extra insight and a new perspective to the skills, which I am gaining through the School of Business,” Thapar said.
As a congressional intern, Thapar was responsible for engaging and responding to constituents via phone, email, and in-person interactions, attending congressional hearings, writing policy briefings, and researching potential policy initiatives, such as cyber security.
Thapar said one of the greatest lessons she learned from her internship was handling “tough situations in a diplomatic manner.”
“At times, I found myself dealing with disgruntled constituents, which is an inevitable challenge in any congressional office. The wonderful staff at the congressman's office taught me how to think in a levelheaded manner and interact with all constituents in a variety of tough situations while maintaining my composure at all times,” she said. “This is certainly a skill I can carry with me throughout my personal and professional life.”
Sessions praised Thapar for a job well done during her internship, going above and beyond expectations.
“Day in and day out, Shivani exhibited a diligent work ethic and energy that was contagious around the office. Shivani’s insatiable desire to learn is one of her greatest attributes,” Sessions said. “Shivani is a dedicated and intelligent person of high moral character and a team player who I know will continue to succeed in any career she chooses.”
Patrick Soleymani, assistant dean of undergraduate programs, also commended Thapar for her service.
“Shivani represents the best of a talented School of Business student body, and I'm proud to see her making a difference in our nation's capital through dedicated public service on Capitol Hill,” said Soleymani.
After graduation, Thapar plans to enter the world of consulting, with a focus on IT consulting. “My recent internship has piqued my interest in cyber security and I hope to see myself eventually playing a role in this field,” she said.