Landing an internship
Where did you intern this summer?
"I interned for United States Senator Elizabeth Warren, primarily at her Boston Office."
How did you find this opportunity?
"I was researching different governmental/political internships in the Massachusetts State House and other government agencies I might be interested in and found Elizabeth Warren's summer internship application deadlines were that night! I bugged Dr. Lasella Hall of the Frederick Douglass Unity House to give me a last-minute recommendation letter and managed to get all my application materials in an hour before the deadline. The interview process was very intense, as the applicant pool was extremely large, but I was one of the interns chosen from hundreds of candidates who applied. I think my involvement on campus and the various issues/concerns that I have helped a lot of students resolve probably helped me gain a ticket as a top candidate."
Is this your first internship?
"No. As an intern for the UMass President’s office during the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022, I worked with the unified procurement service team (UPST), where my I performed communications and contract related tasks, assisted the service and quality team with tasks related to procurement and accounts payable processes, and provided responsive, consistent, and high-quality customer services to all UPST clients, including UMassD students."
Can you describe some of your responsibilities in this role?
"As an immigration intern, I assisted constituents in trying to receive updates and navigate immigration issues they might have with passport applications and the process of applying, visas, and other immigration-related work. Some federal agencies that I worked with were the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), United States of America Embassies and U.S. Consulate, and the Department of State, amongst others."
Did you learn anything about the industry you didn’t previously know?
"I learned a lot of things; the decision-making process of different senators about voting for or against various policies and bills, how different agencies in a state can largely impact the average constituent in said state, how the lives of people can be severely affected when an agency is not accurate, efficient, and organized, and who Senator Warren is as an individual who has dedicated her life to serving the American people."
Did you learn anything about yourself you didn’t previously know?
"I loved my job and the tasks I had. I didn’t feel like an intern, but as a part of Senator Warren's staff and family. Through this internship, I saw different versions of myself as an individual working with a collective to advocate and create positive change in our society. I pushed myself past limitations that I thought I had and accomplished more than I thought I ever would. I enjoyed the feeling I got after working on cases that had very positive outcomes. This internship awoke a great passion for public service within me, and even though I already had this love for advocacy, I no longer felt like a bystander, but as a force making my own impact, no matter how small it might have been. This was an experience of a lifetime."
Were you working in-person, remote, or a hybrid schedule?
"This internship was mainly in-person, but there were some instances where we worked remotely due to staff travels and other special circumstances."
Were you paid for this experience?
"I was paid for this experience, but not by Elizabeth Warren’s office. Although the other interns were paid by her budget, I was the recipient of the 2022 Michael Dukakis public service internship award, so I received a generous stipend from the Leduc Center that paid for my internship."
Did you enjoy this experience?
"Absolutely, this experience was more than amazing and exceeded all my expectations on every aspect of how I thought it would go."
Do you feel that real-world experience with these responsibilities have developed your skills as a professional?
"I believe that these responsibilities have really prepared me both for my future career as a lawyer and as a growing adult. They have made me see things in a different light, seeing as I am thinking of becoming an immigration lawyer. Being in this field for such a brief moment of 3 months taught me so much that I could not have learned anywhere else. I have a much better understanding of how the federal government works, how to assist with immigration issues, how to work in a highly intellectual and professional environment, and so much else. These skills have not only made me smarter, but more mature and ready to take on whatever mother earth throws at me."
What part of the job will stick with you the longest?
"The coolest moment of my internship was meeting Senator Warren for the first time up close and personal. Hearing her talk to me and the entire team with such zeal, and seeing her truly appreciating her staff for their hard work and dedication made me really appreciate the fact that she is a U.S. Senator for Massachusetts."
How do you feel your internships have prepared you for your future career goals?
"As someone who is very passionate about becoming a lawyer and helping with the development of low income and the BIPOC communities, I believe my internships have taught me more than I could have learned anywhere else. Through my internships, I have learned how to work in a highly professional and fast-paced environment, built strong customer service, teamwork, leadership, and professional qualities, and most of all, I have become more knowledgeable, detailed oriented, and work very hard to be as precise as I can in all that I do. I know that these skills will definitely come in handy in the future once I start my journey in the legal field."
Why should a college student pursue an internship in their industry?
"I believe a student pursing an internship in their industry or field is the smartest thing they can do. Not only does it open many doors for more opportunities through networking, but it also helps with the development of the student both in their industry and personal life. A student can learn a lot through an internship, and catch a glimpse of what their future might look like within a specific role or industry. Most times it helps the student decide if they even what to remain in the industry or chose a different path. I encourage every student, no matter what year or major, to do an internship of interest or within their industry. I want every student at UMass Dartmouth to believe in themselves and dream big. Do not limit your yourself by hesitating to reach for the stars. I am a strong believer of manifestation, so I say, dream beyond the ordinary and watch it come to pass."