D. Candice Backus Pierucci

My internship not only helped me identify my career choice but it opened up a world of networking and opportunities that shaped me as a person and propelled me forward in my career, involvement in politics and betterment as a person.

Degree: Bachelor of Science, Political Science, emphasis in American Government

Year Graduated: 2015

Current Job: Director of Community Relations, Congressman Chris Stewart, U. S. House of Representatives

Previous internships while at UVU: State legislative internship (Utah House of Representatives) & Washington DC internship for Senator Mike Lee

If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Amelia Earhart & Susan B. Anthony

What was your favorite course at UVU? John McFarlane’s International studies on Counterterrorism and Jay DeSart’s Political Analysis.

What was your most memorable moment as an intern? My most memorable moment was the when I got to shadow Senator Lee in all of his meetings for a full day and the dinner the Senator had us all attend with the Ambassador of Taiwan.

What do you do in your job now? As Director of Community Relations I do a lot of outreach, event planning and the organization of special projects. In addition, I’m the office’s Military Academies Liaison and the Congressman’s Utah Scheduler. I love my job.

How did your internship(s) play a role in where you are today? My internship was CRUCIAL in getting a job after graduation, and even more so in a congressional office. To all of the Political Science students: doing an internship is not an option, it’s a must. My internship not only helped me identify my career choice but it opened up a world of networking and opportunities that shaped me as a person and propelled me forward in my career, involvement in politics and betterment as a person.

Did life end up like you thought it would when you were a student at UVU?

Life has turned out great, better than I could’ve hoped for! Since my graduation in 2015, I got married, started my first real job as a professional with a Bachelor’s degree at UVU, purchased our first home and in 2016 began working for Congressman Chris Stewart. Since my internship in DC I knew I wanted to end up doing congressional work and I feel grateful to be working in a congressional office with awesome people and a fantastic boss. I’ve been accepted into the University of Utah’s MPA program and will be starting their evening program in the fall.

Would you recommend doing an internship?

YES! Getting your degree is important but it’s imperative to recognize that you will be competing with thousands of other graduates with degrees. What’s going to set you apart? Make you more competitive? Give you the networking edge? An internship.  My recommendation is to do at least two internships before you graduate, the experience you gain and the network you build are well worth it.

What is your advice to current UVU students?

My advice: 1) Do an internship. Apply like crazy! 2) As someone who has been interviewed candidates for congressional interns, know that UVU has a strong reputation hardworking students who go the extra mile across the board. Be confident when you say, “I go to UVU,” don’t sell yourself short. 3) Never underestimate the power of a thank you card after an interview. Very few people send them and they leave a lasting impression.