Bradley student Patrick Campbell spent last semester interning with former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich.
Campbell, a triple major in political science, economics and a major that he produced himself through the individualized major program called “rhetorical studies,” attended the Fall Capital Semester program sponsored by the Fund for American Studies to live, learn and intern in the nation’s capital.
Campbell said he was looking for any type of internship, and Gingrich’s office contacted him. He agreed to go to Washington, D.C., for the fall semester and attended Georgetown University as a full-time student.
“Working with Newt Gingrich was a unique experience because I got to see the inner workings of policy formation,” Campbell said.
The unpaid internship included about 60 hours per week along with a full schedule of classes.
“This program was great for me because I was able to work over 30 hours each week,” he said.
Campbell said he appreciated the adult environment, freedom and openness to ideas.
“You check politics at the door and focus on important things,” he said. “The semester was one of most educational experiences of my undergraduate education. I got a lot of one-on-one time with Newt Gingrich, as well as people working closely with him.”
As expected, there was a high expectation for him to succeed, he said.
“I had a lot of day-to-day responsibilities as well as some that were continuous over the course of my time there,” Campbell said.
Some of the responsibilities that he was in charge of included briefing speakers, policy papers and dealing with community investments.
He was also briefed about the economic crisis by a high-level official at the Federal Reserve and met several U.S. ambassadors.
“One of the main day-to-day questions was being able to find out information for speakers and let them know as soon as possible,” Campbell said.
He said he hopes to graduate school after finishing his undergraduate at Bradley.
He said he would like to earn a doctorate in economics or a master’s degree in law and economics. He is also looking into business pursuits.
“If I don’t immediately go to graduate school then I would most definitely take a year off from school and head back to Washington, D.C., to try and work out there,” Campbell said. “The opportunity was a really great and knowledgeable experience that I’m glad I took part in. If I had the chance I would do it over again.”