The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Internship Spotlight: Liz Berman, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

headshot of Liz Berman

Liz Berman
Concord, Massachusetts
Master of Public Policy 2019

Where I interned: 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, through the Civic Action Project, a fellowship program that provides internship experience, training, and mentoring for emerging public service leaders.

What I did there: As policy and communications fellow, I conducted research on legislative initiatives that advanced the socioeconomic interests of the entire health care workforce and supported the financial health of employers. I also assisted in crafting strategic messaging that informed members of activities and initiatives taking place, while ensuring appropriate messaging for a diverse audience. I was also exposed to writing testimony to present in front of the legislature for the first time.

The most important thing I learned: Always ask a lot of questions, especially when first starting in a new organization and/or policy field. Additionally, it is so incredibly important to support and maintain professional relationships. These relationships are not just important for the current role you are in, but for future roles as well. My time at 1199 and the professional relationships I made there led me to my current position.

The most challenging part of my internship: Entering any organization or policy field that you have not been exposed to before can be challenging. The structure of 1199, and how its work fit into the health care field as a whole, took a lot of time and questions to fully understand.

What surprised me the most: I will forever be surprised at how small the Boston/Massachusetts political circle is. I had never personally met anyone who worked at 1199, yet my colleagues at 1199 and I had many mutual connections.

Why I studied public policy: I want to advocate and help make institutional changes for those who are unable or do not know how to do so themselves.

Future plans: I joined Senator Cindy F. Friedman’s (4th Middlesex) team as a legislative aide in September 2019. I look forward to exploring the ins and outs of the Massachusetts State House.

 

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