Jonathan Burks, Chief of Staff for Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, joined GU Politics for the latest installment in the HIPPSter series: From SFS to Chief of Staff. The event was moderated by Professor Robert Lieber, one of Burks’ former professors.
Lieber kicked off the conversation by asking Burks what the most valuable skill he learned at Georgetown was. Burks replied that it was “the ability to be open to a diversity of opinions.”
Burks noted that he got his start in Congress through his professors at Georgetown, and encouraged students to foster relationships with their professors. He also urged students to read as much as they can, and highlighted the importance of getting an internship, maintaining that internships are a critical way to determine if work on the Hill or in politics is the right fit for you.
Burks revealed that even in his own personal experience, it is very challenging to map out a career in the political sphere. He cautioned that public service requires effort and hard work, but added that it’s a rewarding field full of those grappling with difficult issues.
Finally, Burks answered the question that every college student aspiring to a political career really wants to know: is House of Cards realistic? Sadly, his answer was, “No.”