Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Exclusive Interview With Brut

What she wanted to become as a kid, the moment that changed her life and what Trump is doing right… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talks to Brut. Exclusive interview by our journalist Sruthi Gottipati at the C40 Cities World Mayors Summit.

Inside her improbable rise to superstardom

What did you want to become when you were a kid? You said you’ve never wanted to join politics:

Well, the first thing I ever remember wanting to be… Well when I was 4, I wanted to be an olympic swimmer. But the first real career I remember wanting to be was actually a scientist. I entered college as a premedical student, after winning some science competitions, some global science competitions, in high school. So, my first passion was medicine and science and then public health and community organizing.

Your dad passed away when you were in college, he never got the chance to see your dramatic rise, what do you think he would’ve told you if he was here today?:

Well he was a big, kind of jokester and he would prank and laugh a lot and so I think that he would find all this very amusing because he did very much instil somewhat stubborn ideals in me as a child and I think he would be very amused to find out where that has kind of led. I think he would be proud but he would probably make fun of me every once in a while too.

And are you happy now in your daily life of being a politician? What do you miss in your personal and professional life?:

I am happy now. It is very overwhelming and I, quite literally, went from being an anonymous waitress to a very well-known politician almost overnight. And so that adjustment was very difficult and quite challenging even just from a logistical level. But, aside from that, the mission and the work that I do is something that I love and I gain a lot of meaning from it. So I’m quite happy now, but things that I miss… I miss, you know, kind of that anonymity, the ability to walk into a bar with some friends and hang out, and go to happy hour, go to my corner store in my sweatpants and things like that but I wouldn't trade it for the world.