The College of Social Behavioral Sciences has an amazing program that connects current UMass students with UMass alumni working in Washington, D.C., for an unforgettable summer internship. This year, "SBS in DC" students can land an internship in a congressional office, lobbying firm, or a non-profit advocacy organization. This program really hooks it up. SBS in D.C. covers housing costs at the Washington Intern Student Housing on Capitol Hill, and also offers one academic credit. Additional funding to cover transportation, food, metro card, and other expenses are available based on financial need.
Two summers ago, I interned for Congressman Jim McGovern, who represents the district in which UMass is located. During my time in his office, I got to write letters to constituents, give tours of the Capitol building, attend briefings and committee hearings, and help staff with their casework. By the end of the summer, I had not only learned the ropes of D.C. politics, I had also gotten my foot in the door for future career opportunities. My intern coordinator became my mentor, who gave me invaluable career and life advice. I formed relationships with other staff members in the office and participated in activities such as playing softball on the National Mall after work.
At the time, I lived in Maryland, so I lived at home and commuted to work with my dad, who also worked in D.C. I didn't even know about the SBS in D.C. program at the time, as my internship was separate from the program, but I wish I did. This program not only saves students tons of money, it also provides them with the opportunity to live with students from all over the country who share the same ambition, curiosity, and passion for civic engagement.
FYI: The cover pic for this blog post is with Rep. Jamie Raskin, who represents the neighboring-district to me back in MD. I was wondering if I’d ever run into him — it took approximately three days for that to happen… Capitol Hill is a small world.
To learn more about SBS in DC, check out https://www.umass.edu/sbs/SBS-in-DC