February Alumni Spotlight: Peter Watkins

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Peter Watkins is a Strategic Communications Consultant at Watkins Global Strategies.

Year of graduation: 2001

Hinckley Experience: 

I was the press intern for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee when Senator Hatch was chairman. Fall Semester 1999. 

What is your favorite Hinckley Memory? 

I would have to photocopy press releases and hand deliver them to the Senate Press Galleries. Our office was in the Dirksen Building which meant I got to take the underground train to the Capitol. If it was a slow day, I would sit and watch business being conducted on the senate floor. One time Senator Ted Kennedy was yelling about some issue and I looked around to see that no other senators were there. I guess he was just playing it up for the CSPAN viewers and it seemed so strange. Besides that, my roommate Kimball Thomas was a White House intern for President Clinton. He snuck me into a Rose Garden event when President Clinton pardoned the Thanksgiving Turkey. I think that single experience changed my life. It made me want to work one day at the White House. 

How has the Hinckley Institute impacted your life? 

The Hinckley Institute gave me the confidence to know that I had found something I truly enjoyed. I knew that I wanted to work in Washington D.C. after I graduated, and that it was within the realm of possibility. 

Thanks to my experience working for Senator Hatch, I was able to get a recommendation to work in the Bush (43) White House. I spent nearly six years working there and it set up my professional career. The Hinckley Institute internship offered me the exposure to Washington and provided me with lifelong friendships.