Jannetta worked for Casey as an intern and later as a deputy press secretary, where he developed a love for constituent work and affecting change on the ground.
Now he’s even closer. At this critical juncture in the fiscal cliff negotiations, lawmakers and others depend on his new employer — the Joint Economic Committee — to help provide them with the best information on taxes and entitlements. A key task for him is to develop relationships with reporters, draft press releases and work with economists to disseminate the committee’s work to the press.
Such relationships are critical to Hill success, Jannetta said, and that informs his advice to aspiring staffers — internships and mentors were crucial elements in his rise. “The unpaid internship, while difficult to live through, is worth the effort and the sacrifice,” he said.
And his mentors in Casey’s office played an important role in helping him navigate his first two years as a staffer.
“My best friends began as personal mentors,” he said. “It’s important to recognize someone who cares about your future.”
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An earlier version of this article misstated the news organization for which Jannetta first interned. It was NPR's "Morning Edition."