When Colorado native Kate Henjum (IAFS ’17) visited Washington, D.C. on a middle school trip, she made a promise to herself: one day she’d work in one of the historical buildings on Capitol Hill. Having seen D.C.’s fast-paced, competitive edge at an early age, she realized that once she got her foot in the door, she had to keep it there.
In spring 2016, Henjum earned a spot in the CU in D.C. program with an internship in Senator Michael Bennet’s office. The CU in D.C. program allowed her to gain professional experience in Washington, D.C. while taking CU Boulder classes. “In the office, I worked as a legislative and press intern, learning the layout of a senator’s office and the various policies they handled,” said Henjum. By the end of the semester, she was offered a full-time position in the D.C. office as a staffer for the summer.
Back in Boulder for her senior year, Henjum drew upon the lessons learned during her internship and her CU in D.C. classes to write an honors thesis that connected monsoon flooding and Taliban recruitment in Afghanistan. Determined to stay connected to Washington, D.C., she volunteered for Senator Bennet’s Colorado campaign and kept in contact with her former internship supervisors back on the east coast.
Staying connected paid off, and a few days after graduating from CU Boulder, Henjum traveled back to Washington, D.C. to accept a job as a staff assistant in the Senator Bennet’s office. Her new role includes a variety of responsibilities, but one stands apart from the rest: she is the internship coordinator. “Serving as the internship coordinator is special,” explains Henjum. “It reminds me of how I got to where I am today and where I am going in the future.” She plans to continue working on Capitol Hill and to build a career in policy and legislation, fulfilling her aspirations from so many years ago.