According to the Pay Our Interns organization, the average cost for someone to live and work in Washington D.C. during an internship period is $6,000. For comparison, the cost to live and work in Lincoln, Nebraska for the summer would be about half, or $3,000.
The Keith R. Olsen Agricultural Policy Internship Award helps make a summer internship in Washington D.C. more affordable. The award was established in 2011 by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation to honor Olsen, who served as Farm Bureau president from 2002-2011 and on the board of directors for nearly 20 years.
The 2019 recipient of the award was Katie Nolles of Bassett, Nebraska. Nolles is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Agricultural Education. The Olsen Internship Award enabled her to intern in Congressman Adrian Smith’s office in Washington, D.C., this summer. The monetary award helped cover Nolles’ living and housing expenses.
(Audio) Nolles spoke with the Rural Radio Network about her internship. (Click here for the audio)
“I was truly able to observe and be involved with all aspects of working on Capitol Hill. I loved learning about all of the moving pieces that go into making policy happen, applying what I learned in all of my coursework, and connecting with fellow constituents,” Nolles said.
Noells described her experience in Washington D.C. as a dream internship since her early teenage years.
“Visiting with interns from offices across the country, I quickly found out how fortunate I was to have interned in an office where I got to visit with Congressman Smith regularly, where the staff trusted me with projects, and where my values aligned,” Nolles said.
Nolles said her internship has given her valuable insight and understanding of the federal legislative process that she will utilize in her future teaching career. She is minoring in Leadership-Entrepreneurship through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars.
The award provides up to $3,000 to a UNL College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources junior or senior to work as an intern in a Nebraska Congressional office, a Congressional Committee or approved agricultural organization.