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
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.
SBS in DC
The SBS in DC summer internship program connects UMass Amherst College of Social & Behavioral Science majors with UMass alumni working in Washington DC. The program has proven to be a stepping stone for students interested in careers in fields like policy, non-profits, international development, strategy, marketing, PR, government, campaign work and more. Program participants are matched with host internship sites for a 10-week summer internship, participate in a hybrid online/face to face class, and have the opportunity to network with UMass Alumni who are working in the area, and live together as a cohort in DC. Alumni mentor students at internship sites all over DC.
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
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.
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.
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. Application closes mid-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.