Summer Internships Give Student Ambassadors Real-World Experience

August 9, 2017

By Katelyn Ellison

Many NHIOP Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassadors are spending their summer breaks completing internships. Although most are in the field of politics, experiences range from Town Hall offices to Congressional offices in Washington, D.C.

Clare Robbins, a senior politics major from Holden, Mass. (pictured here), is interning for U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern in his Washington, D.C. office. She spends her days attending briefings, providing Capitol tours and gathering press clips. "In the future, I hope to be involved in political communications or strategy and this is giving me some great insight into life on Capitol Hill and some of the work that goes into the legislative process, as well," she says.

Several ambassadors are spending the summer in the Massachusetts State House. Ariana Smith, a junior politics major from Raynham, Mass., is interning for State Sen. Marc Pacheco. She wanted to discover whether she truly enjoyed working in politics, as a way to discern if it might be a good career fit. "I am learning more about the hectic life of a senator, the importance of the staff, and how every job, no matter how small, has its part in the bigger picture. I am learning more about working with constituents, the legal part of legislature, and the ins and outs of my state government. This internship helped me realize that politics is something I enjoy and could continue pursuing in the adult world after graduation," says Smith.

Christina Damian, a sophomore politics major from North Reading, Mass., worked with her state representative, Diana DiZoglio, earlier this summer. "My internship involved attending various speaker events, as well as focusing on constituents," she says. "The interns were in charge of sending out congratulatory letters to all of Rep. DiZoglio's constituents that graduated high school, college, made the dean's list, or made it into the local newspaper for some sort of achievement."

Damian feels that this was a true learning experience for her. "I enjoyed it so much because that's where I can apply what I have learned thus far in school about how the state vs. federal government operates. It also helped to reaffirm my desire to one day work in the state house, maybe even as a legislative aid," she remarked.

Several others are interning in their state governor's offices. Erica Hudson, a senior international relations major from Hopkinton, Mass., is doing data analysis and fundraising work for Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito in the Massachusetts's Governor's Office.

John Little, Jr., a sophomore politics major from Cumberland, R.I., interned in the Rhode Island Governor's Office Boards and Commissions office. "My main job was creating a spreadsheet of all of the different board members for the state; however, I also did research on many different topics in order to help the officials better understand certain issues before offering their opinions to the governor," he said.

On a more local level, Madison Mangels, a junior politics major from Amityville, N.Y., is gaining experience in Babylon Town Hall on Long Island. "I work mainly as an administrative assistant," she says, "but I also get the hands-on experience of talking to constituents and hearing feedback on the town and how our local government functions."

After graduation, Mangels hopes to focus her career on campaign management and eventually community outreach. "This internship has provided me with a great deal of insight with regards to how campaigns transition after elections, working with constituents to improve the community, and important office and life skills that will be sure to aid me in my future endeavors," she explains.

Anna Boris from Prospect, Conn., is also working in her local community, though not in a strictly political capacity. The senior international relations major is a Youth Ambassador for End Hunger Connecticut!, which is a partnership with Share Our Strength and the Sodexo Foundation. "My main job this summer is to increase awareness of and participation in federal summer food service programs that are available to families in Connecticut throughout the summer months," she says. This internship is also a fit with her community service work at Saint Anselm, where she served as the co-chair of the ambassador program's community outreach committee.

Sam Brandeis, a senior politics major from Duxbury, Mass., is also working in a slightly different field. As a Marketing and Operations intern at XS Brokers, an insurance company in Quincy, Mass., he produces marketing materials for the company as they work on rebranding, creates new marketing templates, and works with clients during meetings. He has especially enjoyed working in a company that is expanding. "All around, this summer has been filled with tremendous work experience," he says, "and I have been extremely lucky to be able to work with a company that is growing rapidly and is filled with so many amazing people."