WISH Spotlight: Michael Bowen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wearing a vibrant yellow shirt and black sunglasses, Michael Bowen walks with a group of interns taking the Monuments by Moonlight tour on May 29. Bowen, a political science major and philosophy minor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is an intern for Congressman Mark Meadows of the 11th district.
He said getting his internship was not planned out. He secured his internship after several interviews after seeing a University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill email regarding the opportunity to work for one’s congressman.
Because Bowen wants to work in politics, he said he thinks this internship is “a good way to get my feet wet.”
He said he mainly answers phones at work. Answering phones for a congressman might sound relatively uninteresting, but the people on the other end of the phone might not always be the most amicable conversationalists.
“I get all sorts of calls from all across the nation,” he said. “My congressman is pretty high profile and pretty controversial, so I get a lot of hateful calls where I pick up the phone and I’m just cursed out until I put the phone down, but I also get a fair amount of support, which is nice.”
Other tasks he performs include reading mail and faxes, in addition to the Capitol tour guide and “drafting response letters to send out to constituents.”
In addition to his duties in the office, there is one task he is waiting to complete.
“I haven’t made a coffee run yet though, which is like the quintessential intern thing to do, and I’m still kind of waiting,” he said. “I feel like that’ll be the moment I know I’ve made it as an intern: get my boss coffee.”
Bowen is involved in clubs at school.
He said he is the treasurer of the beekeeping club and the secretary of the Young Independents club at school, which he said was just created.
Internships are important for networking purposes, according to Bowen.
“I’m looking to go to law school, so this will be going on my application at the very top, for sure,” he said.
Bowen’s internship has not been full of surprises.
“I have to know exactly what will be expected and exactly what things will be like before I commit to something, so it’s honestly all going to plan so far,” he said.
This is not Bowen’s first time in Washington, DC. He said he came here in high school with his AP Government class and on a family vacation 2017.
He is getting acclimated to living in a city environment.
“City life is also kind of new to me; that’s kind of weird to adjust to,” he said.
Aside from his internship, he has some places in mind to visit, though he could not think of any off the top of his head.
He said he has already visited places like the Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian Zoo. He has even been in the Capitol dome, which is one of the places he wanted to visit.
“I’m looking to go to law school, so this’ll go on my application at the very top, for sure,” he said.
Bowen said if one wants to see the dome, they must be accompanied by the chief of staff one’s representative or one’s member.
He said going up to the dome is “kind of an exclusive thing, so I was actually really fortunate to be able to go.”
In terms of weather, Bowen said the heat is a big difference between DC and North Carolina.
Aside from the weather difference, Bowen said Washington, DC has more history than his home state.
He said he is “a pretty patriotic, sentimental kind of person” and being in DC gives him more of a sense of importance. He also said, “being surrounded by the literal foundations of our nation” holds weight with him.
Planned or not, internship opportunities are here. Apply to WISH online at www.internsdc.com to see what awaits in America’s capital.