As the legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, Wyatt Stewart, ’06, keeps his finger on the pulse of policy issues to ensure the congressman is informed on current legislation and constituent needs. Tracking issues related to financial services, taxes, small business, trade, economics and telecommunications is part of a typical day that also includes meeting with constituents, business owners and other organizations.

“I’m always learning — almost like a continuation of my college career,” said Stewart, who majored in political science and was a pitcher on the baseball team while at Richmond. “I love that I’m always meeting and interacting with new people.”

After graduation, Stewart remained in Richmond to work for the Republican Party of Virginia as the deputy director of development. It was this opportunity that allowed him to make the connections in Cantor’s office that eventually led to a move to Washington to accept his current position.

Having worked in Cantor’s office for two years, Stewart was able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the November 2010 elections, in which Cantor was elected to serve as the House of Representatives majority leader for the 112th Congress.

Even with everything going on in the political landscape, Stewart finds time to connect his professional life with his alma mater, bringing Cantor to a Richmond alumni networking event in Washington Dec. 2. The congressman addressed the crowd and met some of Stewart’s fellow Spiders.

“The event allowed Richmond alumni who work in D.C. to get together and catch up,” said Stewart. “Congressman Cantor really enjoyed the chance to talk with everyone because of the University’s location in his district and the fact that he grew up just minutes from campus.”

In addition to maintaining connections with fellow alumni, Stewart stays involved with the University by helping to secure internship positions for current students in his office, which is also home to fellow Spider Austin Tuell, ’09, who serves as special assistant to Cantor.

“I always lobby hard to make sure that we have an intern from the University of Richmond,” Stewart said. “The University gave me a lot, and I think it’s important to try and help in any way that I can. I enjoy the opportunity to work specifically with Richmond students because I like getting updates about campus, and I enjoy helping the students when they have questions.”

Stewart said that Richmond students always prove to be valuable interns. During their internships, students give Capitol tours, answer constituent phone calls, track legislation and attend committee hearings.

“Internships provide students with the opportunity to learn how things work in an office environment while giving them insight into what type of work they might want to get into after graduation,” Stewart said. “Richmond has a very successful alumni base that takes great pride in the University, which is very helpful to current students in their career search after graduation.”