Career Started: First job on the Hill was with the Veterans’ Affairs Committee in 2001. Started working for Barton, who also comes from Texas, in 2002
Career Notes/Advice: “If you really want to be here, there is no job that’s insignificant,” Thompson said. “Starting out at the bottom row of the ladder isn’t a bad thing because you are still on the ladder.” He described Capitol Hill as a place of “go-getters, full of A-type personalities.” Thompson is considering returning to school eventually, but he said he does not think a master’s degree is a prerequisite for working on the Hill.
Communications director for Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Education: Earned a bachelor’s in political science from Sam Houston State University and a master’s in political communications from Johns Hopkins University
Internship: Did not hold any internships; instead, got a job in the Texas state Legislature after earning her bachelor’s degree
Career Started: Began her career on the Hill as a staff assistant for then-Rep. Kenneth Bentsen (D), who represented her home state of Texas
Career Notes/Advice: Etienne was methodical about getting to the Hill. “I targeted mostly Texas Members and Democratic legislators, so that made sense because I worked in the Texas state Legislature,” she said. “I was really strategic about who I targeted, and I think that’s where people go wrong too often is they blanket the Hill with their résumé.” She advised making yourself indispensable and reading everything. “I found myself in a position where I could speak intelligently about an issue that other staffers couldn’t,” she said.
Career Started: Taught for two years in the Middle East; first Hill job was as staff assistant for Sen. Kay Hagan (D) of North Carolina, Lassiter’s home state
Career Notes/Advice: “It was no accident that the first job I got on the Hill was with my home-state Senator,” Lassiter said. He now works for Ellison of Minnesota but said it was not a difficult adjustment — he simply spent time getting to know the district. He recommended starting a Hill career with a home-state lawmaker, saying experience will allow you to venture out. Lassiter highly recommended the book “Vault Guide to Capitol Hill Careers” by William McCarthy about getting a job on the Hill.
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.