A year ago, Adriano Pucci, BS ’21, was facing an unprecedented challenge: working as an intern for U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat while living more than 1,000 miles away in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Today, he’s finally unpacking his bags in Washington, D.C., one of his favorite places in the world, and preparing to start a full-time job on site as Espaillat’s digital and communications manager.
“It’s where I want to be,” says Pucci. “Working in public service in our nation’s capital is like a dream come true.”
Passionate about politics from an early age, Pucci’s journey to the nation’s capital started just three weeks into his freshman year at Suffolk, when he applied for a University-sponsored internship on Beacon Hill and was hired as a legislative and communications intern for Rep. Adrian Madaro, a 2019 graduate of Suffolk Law School.
This is where he learned how to put together press releases, craft talking points for a media event, and turn out dozens of constituent response letters.
“Every single one of those tasks has been required of me in Congress,” says Pucci, who majored in Government. “I couldn’t be more thankful to Suffolk for providing me with an incredible opportunity to sharpen my skills and put me on the right career path so early on.”
Next, Pucci set his sights on an internship in the nation’s capital with Espaillat, who represents New York’s 13th Congressional District and is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. Congress.
This position was made possible through Suffolk’s connection with The Washington Center, a program that prides itself on placing students in internships in and around the district.
But due to the pandemic, Pucci had to work remotely from his home in Florida, not in the halls of Congress, as hoped. While facing the challenges of conducting business and developing relationships remotely, Pucci found he was also equipping himself with valuable skills while adapting to a completely new situation.
“It made me a quicker learner, and taught me how to think faster on my feet, be a better writer, and overall better at my job,” he says. “It also taught me how to be more malleable and self-sufficient, two things that are invaluable both here on the Hill, and in any other sector.”
“It's where I want to be. Working in public service in our nation’s capital is like a dream come true.”
It all began on Beacon Hill
Pucci credits Christina Kulich, an instructor in the Political Science & Legal Studies Department, with giving him the confidence to explore new political opportunities that prepared him for his future.
“I tell her all the time that she changed my life,” he says. “From the jump, she believed in me and did everything in her power to make sure I succeeded.”
Singing the praises of her former student and teaching assistant, who she continues to stay in contact with, comes easy for Kulich.
“He is quite simply one of the most motivated, hardworking, conscientious, and caring students I have ever worked with,” she says. “The key to his success is that he is always willing to listen and to apply feedback in order to grow personally, academically, and professionally.”
Pucci’s new job involves creating communications plans for upcoming bill introductions, putting together cross-platform livestreams with district stakeholders about policy issues, and helping to promote resources available to constituents at local, state, and federal levels.
“Knowing that I’m part of something much bigger than myself is the motivator of a lifetime,” he says. “Being trusted to help illustrate the impact of my boss’s legislative accomplishments — and highlight the services and resources available to our constituents that can make their lives better — is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.”