Pitzer Spotlights

2006-2007 Spotlight Archives

Dan Mitchell Goes to Washington, D.C.
Interns in Senator Hillary Clinton's Office

Dan Mitchell with Hillary Rodham Clinton
Dan Mitchell with Hillary Rodham Clinton

Major: Political Studies
College activities: Democrats of the Claremont Colleges, Student Senate, Student Investment Committee
Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
Career aspirations: Public Service

Q&A with Dan

How did you get selected for this intern opportunity?
I applied and was accepted to work initially for Friends of Hillary, Senator Clinton's Senate re-election campaign. Shortly after I began working, the Senator launched her Presidential Exploratory Committee. Luckily, I had placed myself in the right place at the right time working for the right people.

How did the internship affect/develop your writing, analytical or research skills?
This internship has taught me so much more about the political process and everything that goes into a national campaign. Specifically, this internship has taught me to be meticulous and efficient in everything from writing to researching. Paying attention to the details is critical as everything comes together in the end toward our shared goal of electing Senator Clinton President.

How has the internship affected your future plans?
Living and working in Washington D.C. has been a tremendous experience. I've had a front row seat observing how the governing process works, its triumphs and failures, and also an in-depth look at how we chose who governs us. After working in the center of politics I am aware of so many more opportunities that exist for young people looking to make a difference in America through public leadership - from working on Capitol Hill to campaigning across the country to lobbying on K Street. This experience has opened my eyes to all these possibilities.

What are the takeaway lessons/tools/information that you learned during this experience?
More than anything, I have learned the importance of truly believing in your cause and candidate. Campaigning is hard work, and often it is not glamorous, but if you believe passionately in the end goal, the work becomes fun.

Team work is also essential. One of the main reasons I've had such an enjoyable and successful experience is because I've had the opportunity to work and learn from an outstanding group of professionals, some of the best in their field.

How has this changed or confirmed your previous thoughts regarding political campaigns?
Before interning here, I was perhaps a little cynical of the whole political process. Often people have negative perceptions of those who work in politics that are simply not true. This campaign is composed of a great group of people dedicated to turning this country around and improving the lives of all Americans. It's not just about winning, although that is obviously preferable, it's about changing the discussion back towards Democratic ideals, and working towards positive change for this country.

Once home, will you do anything further on the campaign trail for Senator Clinton?
I love interning here on the campaign. If an opportunity arose to continue working for the Senator in some capacity once I get back to California, I would definitely pursue that.

Is there anything else you would like added to this interview spotlight?
Senator Clinton is a terrific candidate. She has the experience, knowledge and talent to be a magnificent President. When I have met her she has been warm, friendly and sincere. I have been extremely impressed with her energetic attitude and genuine interest in what each voter has to say.

--Susan Andrews