As former safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Will Allen was used to tackling wide receivers and running backs. But for three weeks in February and March, Allen tackled the arcane details of energy policy as a Capitol Hill intern.
Allen, 33, who is currently a free agent, just finished his 13th season in the NFL. But in Rep. Bobby L. Rush’s office, he was just another intern.
His main job was to assist the senior policy adviser for the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power. Rush, of Illinois, is the top Democrat on the panel.
Allen attended staff briefings and worked on memos used by the subcommittee for hearings and markups, according to Rush’s office.
He was treated like all other interns, which included such tasks like answering phones and running errands.
In fact, if you called Rush’s office at the beginning on March, you could have spoken to Allen on the phone. “I never had to learn how to transfer, put the number in, transfer, send to voicemail,” he said in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America .
Allen also spent his time in the Capitol meeting with other lawmakers and staff, acting as a liaison and goodwill ambassador for the NFL Externship Program, which began three years ago.
Twenty-six NFL players participated this spring as full-time, unpaid interns.
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