Thursday, October 23, 2014

Liberty alumnus sets career path in D.C.

Former government major Kyle Klein works as part of the House Committee of Homeland Security

After a long day at work, Kyle Klein, a former Liberty University student, looks back at the sunset behind Capitol Hill and can hardly believe his fortunate circumstances.

Washington — Klein finds his home on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo provided

Ever since Klein was a child, he knew that he wanted a career in either politics or government. In Dec. 2011, his dream became a reality when he was offered a job at the House Committee of Homeland Security.

“I mean, a career is pretty much what every student is working toward, so for me to step into mine right out of school was, and is, an incredible blessing,” Klein said.

Before he was hired, Klein interned with the committee through the Washington Fellowship for a semester. According to him, it was one of the greatest opportunities for a government major: living in Washington, D.C. and getting experience. However, he said that the internship was still nerve-racking.

“I was definitely nervous about whether I was really qualified,” Klein said. “I quickly discovered that Liberty had given me an excellent education in my field and that my excitement far outweighed any nervousness.”

Klein’s internship came to a conclusion when a job position opened up. He submitted a cover letter to the chief of staff and was hired.

“Several members of the staff put in a good word for me based on their experience with me as an intern, and a few days later, I was told that I had the job,” Klein said. “It was the best Christmas present ever.”

Stephen Bowers, one of Klein’s government teachers, was delighted when he heard that the committee had hired Klein.

“It’s important for our students to make an impact, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” Bowers said.

Klein became the new staff assistant for the House Committee of Homeland Security.
This committee, which was established after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, helps provide “congressional oversight for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and better protect the American people against a possible terrorist attack,” according to the committee website.

“While terrorism is probably the most notable threat, DHS also has components that deal with natural disasters, border security cyber-security and even human trafficking,” Klein said.

Staff assistant Klein has many new responsibilities in the office. According to him, these include administrative work, researching and writing for members of Congress and the committee, preparation for legislative hearings and legislative mark-ups.

“The goal of keeping America safe, however, is a huge part of why I love my job,” Klein said. “The notion that I am playing even a small role in strengthening the state of our homeland’s security is very rewarding.”

According to Klein, with this new responsibility came a lot of stress, but there are many ways that he chose to deal with it. Washington, D.C. is a big city with unending possibilities, and when Klein got overwhelmed, he said that he took to the museums with friends and thanked God for his supportive coworkers.

“I am blessed to work with amazingly qualified and wonderful individuals who never cease to be an encouragement to me,” Klein said.

Although Klein does not consciously make an effort to share the Gospel at work, he feels that he is an example of Christianity in his workplace. According to Klein, because his coworkers know that he is a Liberty graduate, whenever he does something positive, they attribute it to his faith.

“I strive to conduct myself in a manner of God’s love, and I hope that the people around me recognize the source of that love,” Klein said.

He has been working on the committee for a little more than a year and looks forward to many more years in government. According to Klein, though this career is still new to him, one day, he hopes to work more directly with legislation.

“Oftentimes, I still cannot believe where I find myself,” Klein said. “It may sound cheesy, but sometimes I’ll tap a column in the Capitol as I walk by just to remind myself that it is real.”

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