Program Overview

Your next opportunity is waiting around the corner. Are you prepared?

The 118th Congress is well underway and staff positions are open in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. These positions represent a unique opportunity for professionals like you to advance conservative principles and impact public policy. Ready, Set, HILL! is here to assist you in landing your first Hill job and preparing for success.

Ready, Set, HILL! distills the training and skill-building sessions you need into a two-day, intensive learning program. Heritage's team of instructors are Capitol Hill veterans who teach the entry-level skills you need to be successful in any Hill office. You'll hear from current and former Hill chiefs of staff, skill coaches, and other professionals on a wide range of practical knowledge. Whether you're looking for opportunities as a legislative, communications, or scheduling professional, this program is for you.

What you will learn:

  • Fundamentals: Capitol Hill 101
  • Opportunities: Who Does What in a Hill Office?
  • How the House and Senate Really Work
  • Oversight Basics
  • Writing Fundamentals for the Hill
  • Constituent Communications: The Art of Letter Writing
  • Engaging Outside Resources
  • Acing the Interview
  • Professional Polish for the Hill


Program Details

FORMAT: Ready, Set, HILL! is available for both in-person and virtual attendance. Space is limited for in-person attendance: early applicants will be prioritized. 

DATE: Ready, Set, HILL! is being offered on the below date:
 Program Date:  Application Deadline:  Status:
 May 30 - 31  May 27  Closed
 October 3 - 4  September 30  Open

Whether virtual or in-person, participants should prepare for two full days of jammed packed programming. The schedule will run 9:00 am - 5:00 both days. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for in-person attendees. Program will include in-class discussion, Q&A, and homework. 

Those who fulfill all requirements of the program will receive a certificate of completion. Heritage’s Job Bank will work with credentialed graduates on placement into open staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate.


Clare Basil is a Policy Advisor with the Senate Steering Committee, a caucus of conservative senators chaired by Senator Mike Lee. Previously, she served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Tom Cotton and a Public Interest Fellow at the R Street Institute. She studied political philosophy at the University of Dallas, where she graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Willmoore Kendall Award for Excellence in Political Philosophy.

Kyle Bonnell is the Assistant Director for the Job Bank and Talent Placement at The Heritage Foundation. Through the Heritage Job Bank, Kyle has placed over a thousand conservatives into key positions on Capitol Hill, in the Executive Branch, and with conservative organizations across the country. He has worked on staff at Heritage for eleven years. He graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science.

Aaron Calkins is the Chief of Staff for Congressman Eric Burlison. He previously served as Legislative Director and Counsel for Congressman Andy Biggs and Raul Labrador. His experience in the executive branch includes serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and as Chief of Staff for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Mike Connolly is Founder and Principal of Inkling Communications, where he provides writing and strategic services to candidates, senior executive branch officials, U.S. Senators and Representatives, major corporations and nonprofits, the Republican National Committee, and others. He served multiple stints on Capitol Hill, last serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Mike Lee.

Savanna Deretich is the Government Affairs Coordinator with Students for Life Action. As SFLAction's Government Affairs Coordinator, Savanna lobbies for strong federal pro-life legislation, builds relationships with pro-life champions, educated offices on the life issues, and is the media spokesperson. Before Savanna became an employee with Students for Life, she was a Minnesota State Captain with Students for Life Action, a 2019-2020 Wilberforce Fellow, a 2020-2021 Student Spokesperson, as well as founded and served as President for the Students for Life group on her campus at the University of Northwestern St. Paul for over three years.

Dani Doane is the Director of Government Relations at the Heritage Foundation. She previously served on Capitol Hill as a Chief of Staff and Legislative Director. She additionally has experience in the lobbying and grassroots arena.

Matt Eagan is the Director of Federal Affairs at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Previously, Eagan worked as Government Relations Manager at The Heritage Foundation and Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Andrew Guernsey serves as a Policy Advisor to Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), handling outreach to conservative coalitions. Previously, he served as Executive Director of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus under the chairmanships of Senators Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Steve Daines (R-MT). His prior experience also includes serving as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), and as a Senior Legislative Assistant at the Family Research Council. Andrew earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Originally from Ave Maria, Florida, Andrew lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Claire and their children.

Beverly Hallberg is the Founder and President of District Media Group. Hallberg is an expert media coach, lecturer, and public speaker dedicated to coaching others to be their "best self" for both print and broadcast media. She is a Fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, a guest columnist for The Daily Signal, Washington Examiner, and The Hill and is a frequent contributor on Fox News.

Thomas Jipping is a Senior Legal Fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Previously, he served for 15 years on the staff of U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), including several as his Chief Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He spent the previous 13 years in legal policy positions at Concerned Women for America and the Free Congress Research & Education Foundation. Jipping received a bachelor's degree with honors from Calvin College and both a master's degree in political science and a juris doctorate, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo. While at SUNY-Buffalo Law School, Tom was a founding member of the Buffalo Federalist Society and served as the Head Note and Comment Editor of the Buffalo Law Review. Before coming to Washington, Tom clerked for Judge William D. Hutchinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Eric Teetsel is Vice President of Government Relations at The Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action for America. Most recently, he served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, where he also held the roles of Legislative Director and Special Assistant. Teetsel also formerly served as President of the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, Director of Faith Outreach for the Marco Rubio presidential campaign, Executive Director of the Manhattan Declaration for life, marriage, and religious freedom, and more.


Have Questions? Email Kaitlin Stumpf at [email protected]