Brad Schultz has experience working in congressional offices. Lots of experience.
“By the end of this summer, I will have worked in every type of congressional office,” he says.
Brad didn’t actually plan for this result. He has simply applied for an internship with congressmen and women every summer of his college career. After his freshman year, he worked for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R – Tenn.). The fall of his sophomore year, he worked briefly for Rep. Randy Neugabauer (R – Texas). Last summer, he worked for Rep. Blackburn again, staying in her office from July through August.
“It was a really good learning experience,” he said.
Brad is currently working in Sen. Bob Corker’s (R – Tenn.) national district office in Nashville; on July 5, he’ll move to Sen. Lamar Alexander’s (R – Tenn.) D.C. office. At Sen. Corker’s office, he’ll be doing constituent services and casework, talking to people who are having difficulties with government services.
“I’ll help facilitate communication between people who are having trouble with the government and the senator’s office,” he said.
At Sen. Alexander’s office, he’ll be attending legislative hearings and mark-ups, as well as giving tours of the Capitol building. Brad says that his previous internships, especially with Rep. Blackburn, have prepared him well for these new experiences. “I left that internship really interested in interacting with constituents,” he said.
Brad’s interest in government and its interaction with citizens is part of the reason he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science at ACU. For him, politics has been a question of location, since he grew up in the Washington, D.C., area.
“I think that interest comes from being in D.C. I was around people who worked in politics and government all the time. I’ve been interested in that sort of thing for a long time,” he said.
When it came time to choose a college, ACU was already on his radar via friends and mentors at church. After the university offered him a good scholarship, his mind was made up.
“I knew I wanted to be a political science major, and ACU had a strong political science department,” he said.
At ACU, Brad has been involved in several on-campus activities – not least of which is his upcoming presentation of undergraduate research on Christians in the Middle East. He and Dr. Neal Coates, his faculty adviser on the project, will present a one-hour session at ACU’s annual Summit this fall.
“The opportunity to do research in the department really stands out,” Brad said.
Brad is also a Jack Pope Fellow, a prestigious award given to ACU juniors who excel academically and demonstrate a strong commitment to public service. Brad particularly enjoyed the weeklong Pope Fellows trip he took with Dr. David Dillman, professor of political science, in May 2010. The trip included a visit to Central Dallas Ministries, a non-profit organization that seeks to positively impact the downtown Dallas area.
“It was really interesting to see the inside of a non-profit – how they operate, what they do,” Brad said.
Brad is slated to serve as the next vice president of the ACU chapter of International Justice Mission this fall. He’s looking forward to interacting with the new leadership team and finding a focus for the group’s activities in the coming year. “We have a great team,” he said.
In the future, Brad wants to go to law school somewhere in the D.C. area. He’s not sure what sort of law he wants to practice or what he’ll do with his degree. But he’s sure that it will have something to do with politics.
“I’ll keep my options open,” he said.