Support on resumes, cover letters, career exploration
SBS Career Advising knows that professional development doesn’t start when you need a job. It starts now. That doesn’t mean you need to know the career you want after college. It means you should seek opportunities to develop skills that will serve you well in any career (like public speaking, writing, interpersonal, and analytic skills), explore what’s out there, connect with alumni, learn job search strategies, build experience by asking for more responsibility or new projects at work, seek leadership positions in clubs or volunteer organizations, and lay the groundwork for internships.
- Exploring career fields that might fit best
- Searching for jobs and internships
- Preparing materials for application - resume and cover letters
- Practicing for interviews
- Negotiating your salary
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Find jobs and internships
After you have an understanding of how to write a cover letter and resume, you will want to explore these resources for job postings:
- Handshake - the primary database of undergraduate job and internship postings at UMass
- List of Public Policy-focused opportunities
- Public Policy Job and Internship Bulletin - graduate students are the target audience but some undergraduate options are featured
- Arts & Culture Internship and Job Postings - this list is maintained by the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service
Gain experience through UMass-sponsored opportunities
UMass Women into Leadership
UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) is a competitive leadership training and professional development program that prepares students from the state’s flagship, public university for public leadership. By introducing these students to current leaders and providing opportunities for them to see first-hand the benefits of public service, UWiL provides models and pathways into leadership – all while helping to address the gender gap in politics and creating a pipeline from public education into public service. UWiL fellowship applications are accepted from all class years, yearly August 1 through October 15.
Internships and Co-Ops in Boston
Finding an internship in Boston has never been easier. Available in spring and summer, students may use the UMass Mount Ida campus as a hub for internships and co-ops, working with the SBS Career Advising Team to secure a role of interest.
Explore the field through other annually offered internships and fellowships
Intern with Your State or U.S. Senator/Representative
Most state and U.S. senators and representatives have interns year round. The first step is to figure out (if you don't know already), who your representatives are. Then, look to see if you can find an explanation on their website about how to apply to intern. If you can't find instructions on the application process, email to ask. Also, consider interning with representatives in Amherst. Representative Mindy Domb has volunteer interns every semester and summer as does Senator Jo Comerford. U.S. Congressmen Jim McGovern, U.S. Congressmen Richard Neal (who teaches an SPP course - the Politician and the Journalist), Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Ed Markey also hire interns. You can also reach out to town council representatives for internship opportunities. While many of these positions are unpaid, generally, you can earn choose to work part-time, pairing the experience with a paid job, OR you could intern during the semester for course credit.
Washington Center for Internships - Tuition support for MA residents
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminar provides experiential education opportunities to students of the Massachusetts public college and university system. The program uses the resources of the nation's capital to provide high-quality learning experiences to enhance student's academic, civic and professional development. The purpose of the Washington Center is to promote future leadership for the public, private and non-profit sectors of society. Internship placements include positions in government offices, communication organizations, law firms, trade and professional associations, human right groups and a variety of companies and other organizations. Internships are coupled with required academic courses. Details on tuition support can be found here.
TWC's Funded Federal Diversity Internships
The Washington Center (TWC) partners with multiple U.S. federal agencies to offer paid internship programs with the goal of increasing diversity in the federal workforce. These federal agencies recognize that diversity brings innovation and creativity to the workplace, encourages fresh perspectives that inspire new ideas and sparks positive change. As an intern with a federal agency, you will gain meaningful professional experience and build a valuable network of connections that could open the door to new opportunities in the future. The need is strong for bright, diverse talent at these agencies. All of the federal internships require that you are a U.S. citizen and enrolled in a degree-granting program, with a preference for a 3.0 or above GPA. There are opportunities for 15-week fall and spring internships and 10-week summer internships. Learn the details here.
Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program
Future Leaders in Public Service offers students the opportunity to complete a paid 10 – 12-week summer internship at the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, or General Services Administration while also learning through professional development sessions, networking, and orientation. They receive a stipend. Open to sophomores and juniors. Application deadline falls in the last week of November.
U.S. Department of State Remote Internship Program
The U.S. Department of State offers remote, paid, part-time internships for students that offer an inside look at diplomacy in action, and the range of careers and responsibilities found in the Foreign Service and Civil Service. Students will gain valuable work experience that they can apply to virtually every endeavor — whether they work in government or the private sector. Most of all, students will feel good about doing something worthwhile for their nation. Open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Internships can be done in fall, spring, or summer and the application process begins about a year in advance.
Ignite Fellowship through Teach for America
The Ignite Fellowship is a national tutoring corps designed to accelerate learning and foster belonging with students. As an Ignite Fellow, you will lead small group virtual learning experiences with students with the support of veteran educators. This is a part-time, paid opportunity to build meaningful relationships with youth, accelerate student success and gain skills that propel forward your own leadership. Fellows work approximately 5 hours per week during regular K-12 school hours and receive a $1200 (pre-tax) award at the conclusion of their fellowship term. Fellowships are conducted in fall and spring semesters, so application deadlines vary.
The Roosevelt Institute
The Roosevelt Institute envisions a future where our economy and democracy work for the many, where politics and power are multiracial, and where, as FDR once said, “government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.” We invest in people—from undergraduate college students to experts qualified for federal appointments—and deploy them to shift paradigms and build toward this future. The Roosevelt Institute offers fellowship several different fellowship opportunities, ranging from remote internships for first and second year students to an in-person summer internship in D.C. for rising juniors or seniors to a year-long, part-time paid internship focused on policy writing for seniors. These fellowships open in late October and the applications close in early December.
Scoville Peace Fellowship
The Scoville Peace Fellowship aims to bring the knowledge, perspective, and passion of a diverse group into the world of DC think tanks and advocacy groups to build expertise and resolve global conflicts. They provide six- to nine-month paid internships at nonprofit, public-interest organizations addressing peace and security issues. Applications are especially encouraged from candidates with a strong interest in these issues who have prior experience with public-interest activism or advocacy. Open to recent college and graduate school alumni. Application for fall closes in January. Application for spring closes in October.
Find a position for after graduation
In addition to jobs posted in Handshake, also check out these programs that recruit alumni.
Director's Financial Analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
This two-year rotational fellowship sits at the intersection of the federal government and the financial services industry. Designed to engage recent college graduates in meaningful public service work, DFAs are given the opportunity to hone analytical and problem-solving skills while helping to ensure all households have access to markets for consumer financial products and services that are fair, transparent, and competitive. The rotations in different divisions across the CFPB are designed to provide exposure to the analysis, strategy, research, policy development, supervision, enforcement, and rulemaking activities taking place across the agency. This role is full-time and open to those who will have a bachelor's before the job begins in June. Applications are open in November and close before the end of the month.