Hinckley Institute

March 2023 | Sophie Draayer

Alumni Spotlight

Sophie Draayer wasted no time at the University of Utah. Prior to graduating from the U at just 18 years old, Draayer participated in just about every experience and class that the Hinckley Institute has to offer! In addition to completing three internships, she took the Campaign Management course (working on Governor Cox’s gubernatorial campaign), the Hinckley Forum course and served as a Hinckley ambassador, helping to spread the word about internship opportunities on campus.

Draayer’s first internship was completed during the legislative session in Governor Cox’s communications department where she helped with a range of duties to launch his position.

She then embarked on a DC internship for the summer and interned with Broadband Breakfast, a media company, where she worked as a reporter - covering the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal on the hill. Her DC experience solidified her desire to work in the Federal Government. With this career aspiration in mind, Draayer participated in yet another Hinckley Internship - this time working  locally under Senator Romney and Senator Lee’s merged casework team. This internship heavily focused on working with Governor Cox’s team to help navigate Afghani refugees into the country and to the state of Utah for aid.

Draayer accumulated countless great memories from her many Hinckley involvements, but her summer in DC truly stands out.

My first summer in Washington DC was electric. Something was always going on, whether that was a concert, lecture, dance party, or a museum that needed to be explored. It was such a great experience being able to live with all the other interns and just be surrounded by amazing people that always inspired me to go out of my comfort zone. 

Inspired by her Hinckley experiences, Draayer was eager to graduate early and join the workforce. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with minors in Strategic Communication and Campaign Management. Draayer now works as a Press Secretary and Scheduler at Congressman John Curtis’ office in Washington DC.

Draayer credits her Hinckley experiences with helping her determine her academic and career paths.

Growing up, I was always interested in government and politics but could never hone in on what kind of career I wanted to pursue. With the help of internships provided through the Hinckley Institute, I was able to take advantage of having a few months in different areas to improve my skill set and figure out what I enjoyed the most…. It’s hard to say that there was anything that prepared me more for my career than opportunities Hinckley gave me.

We look forward to following Draayer’s growing accomplishments in the years ahead!