A Man of Achievement: Mr. Stefan J. Bieret
I serve in the office of the chief law enforcement and protocol officer for the U.S. House of Representatives-the Office of the Sergeant at Arms (HSAA). I currently hold the position of Assistant to the HSAA for Operations. This is a position which I could not have obtained without my experience from the Washington Scholars Program.
My interest has always been in the law enforcement and investigative realms-the professions where one serves the public by maintaining law, order, and safety. This was not common in the area where I grew up, where most families' livelihoods directly depended on the happenings of Wall Street and the financial world. Throughout my life, Washington, DC was an unfamiliar place often described in textbooks and newscasts. It was a place that may have been out of reach, had it not been for Washington Scholars.
I learned of the program through a Washington Scholars alumnus, who enthusiastically recommended the program as a valuable means to begin to build one's professional credentials. In 2003, I moved from the center of the financial world to the epicenter of our democracy to begin my internships at the National Defense PAC and the Heritage Foundation (Center for Legal & Judicial Studies). After exploring various career options and receiving guidance from Admiral Carey, I reenrolled in the Washington Scholars internship program in 2004 with a placement at the House Sergeant at Arms and an additional placement at the Heritage Foundation.
My myriad experiences with the Washington Scholars Program contributed a great deal to my professional development. I immediately learned that the professional world is different from the university world. In the "real world," there are no syllabi, teaching assistants, or assigned books. One has to carve a professional niche for oneself. The program directly facilitated my transition into the professional world.
With my placement at the House Sergeant at Arms, I began to learn how a federal law enforcement agency (such as the US Capitol Police) functions, including daily operations and the considerations that go into the decision-making process. After seven years, I am still learning.
In my current role, I handle inquires from Members of Congress and their offices regarding security, access control for entry into the House complex, and joint activities with the US Capitol Police to facilitate legislative branch activities. In this respect, I also work with other law enforcement agencies and the military.
The Washington Scholars Program directly affected my career trajectory, and I am the better for it. My mentors within the program-particularly the Admiral-continue to have a stake in my future. This is one of the long-term benefits of being a Washington Scholar. I am indebted to the program, and the best way to show my appreciation is to try to provide the same type of mentoring, support, and guidance that my predecessors showed me.
Stefan J. Bieret is the Assistant to the Sergeant at Arms for Operations at the U.S. House of Representatives. He currently serves as the VP of Business and Finance for the Washington Scholars. He is a 2003 graduate of Rutgers University and a member of the Zeta Psi Fraternity.