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Matthew Powell ’12: Pursuing his Passion for Politics

Published in the Summer ’13 edition of the Keystonian

“My internship really changed my life.”

For Matthew Powell, a member of the Keystone College Class of 2012, he always knew his future calling was in politics. Now, Matthew is putting his education to good use and pursuing his passion for politics as a staff assistant with Congressman Tom Marino.

With jobs in the Capitol in short supply, Matthew is one of a few to begin his career path in Washington, D.C. so quickly after graduation.

Matt Powell And Jeff BrauerMatthew’s connection with Congressman Marino began in 2011. With the help of Keystone Associate Professor Janet Wrightnour, he landed an internship in Congressman Marino’s Tunkhannock district office. After a successful first experience, Matthew was then asked to return for summer 2012, and his outstanding work led to the staff assistant position in Washington, D.C.

As a staff assistant with Congressman Marino, Matthew serves on the office’s front lines, often communicating with constituents by phone and mail. He also leads constituents and other guests on tours of the Capitol which includes a stop at the always-popular Rotunda.

As almost anyone can attest, nearly every industry requires newcomers to “pay their dues” and Capitol Hill is no different. Although Matthew’s current job isn’t the most glamorous, entry-level jobs in a congressional office can lead to a successful career in politics.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Congressman Marino’s office,” said Matthew. “I look forward to moving up the ranks and making a career in politics.”

With his social science degree and a minor in political science, Matthew says his time at Keystone prepared him for Washington, D.C. and a Matt Powell Photolife in politics. “Professor Jeff Brauer sparked my interest in politics,” said Matthew. “My time at Keystone really provided me with a solid background and helped me understand what is going on in Washington. Thanks to my experiences at Keystone, my transition to Washington has been relatively seamless.”

When he’s not busy with his fast-paced job on the Hill, the Union Dale, Pa., native unwinds by enjoying bike rides and a few rounds of golf. “It has been really a big adjustment, coming from rural Northeastern Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C.,” said Matthew. “I was accustomed to having my nearest neighbor a mile away.”

When he does get the rare chance to visit home, Matthew likes to fish and hunt on his family’s lake.

Matthew’s success isn’t a surprise to his former professors. “Matthew has a natural disposition and acumen for politics – he is intelligent, thoughtful, personable, and respectful,” said Keystone Professor Jeff Brauer. “He was a very impressive intern for Congressman Marino which is what landed him this highly sought-after job. We are very proud of Matthew and his work.”

While Matthew is looking forward to continuing a successful career in politics for years to come, he is quick to remember his Keystone roots. “I learned so much during my years at Keystone,” Matthew said. “I use those lessons both professionally and personally every day.”