UWiL is a competitive leadership training and professional development program based in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences that prepares students from the state’s flagship, public university for public leadership. By introducing these students to current leadership and providing opportunities for them to see first-hand the benefits of public service, UWiL provides models and pathways into government, politics and public policy – all while helping to address the gender gap in politics and creating a pipeline from public education into public service.

Help prepare a new generation of students to become public leaders with a donation to UWIL today.

Annual Reports

Our Mission 

UWiL exists to raise consciousness around the existence and causes of gender disparities in public service, to provide leadership training to prepare students to enter public service careers, and to mentor and provide networking opportunities to undergraduate students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in order to help launch public service careers.

Our Values 

We believe that a diverse UWiL community is integral to our program’s excellence and that our students, leadership, and larger network should reflect the diverse world in which we live. We value the wide range of voices and perspectives that contribute to our democracy and recognize the critical role that collaboration across differences plays in society.

Our Vision

By introducing undergraduate students to careers in politics, policy and government, UMass Women into Leadership (UWiL) aims to create a public sector that is representative of those who are served and governed.

Program Structure

The UWiL program offers several activities to help prepare you for life after UMass. Participants benefit from our:

  • Annual weekend-long workshop with local, state and regional leaders;
  • Semester-long, one-on-one mentoring;
  • Regular meetings with guest speakers and facilitators on topics including conflict resolution, understanding the legislative process, preparing for graduate school, and public speaking;
  • Field trips (e.g. annual trip to the MA State House and NY Capital);
  • Private or invite-only special events
  • Resume and cover letter reviews;
  • Mock interviews;
  • Free headshots and business cards;
  • AAUW Start Smart Salary Negotiation training;
  • Free tickets or sponsorship to attend conferences, workshops, and networking events;
  • Scholarships to support unpaid or low-paying internships;
  • And our vibrant and supportive community of students, alumni, and administrators who want to make sure you succeed!

Does this sound like the program for you? Apply by October 15.

Support Us

UWiL has merch! We sell tshirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, and more. Check out our store here.

UWiL offers its programming, from classes and headshots to our workshop weekend, free-of-charge to students and alumni. This wouldn't be possible without the support of individual donations. You can donate to UWiL here. 

What Are Students Saying?

  • "I had never imagined meeting so many impassioned senators, representatives, staffers, and lobbyists. The most important aspect to me was the fact that many of the people that we met were alums of UMass. Not only did they describe their path from college to public service, but they encouraged and supported us in doing the same. This made me feel, for the first time, that I too could enter politics, something that had otherwise felt not only improbable, but mostly impossible."
  • "UWiL made a huge impact on my life. As a senior in college I was given the opportunity to meet and connect with women who I aspire to be. I was able to develop a community I feel confident will support me through my formative years of young adulthood and beyond. I feel more informed about the post-graduation career and life choices I am making. Being surrounded by so many driven and inspiring mentors and peers is something everyone should experience at least once or more in a lifetime -- UWiL is a great place to find that experience."
  • "UWiL helped me gain confidence in myself and grow as an individual.  The UWiL workshop was a rigorous experience, but because of that workshop and everything leading up to it, I was equipped with the skills to create and expand my professional network. This made all the hard work worth it."
  • "UWiL helped make a large campus seem much smaller."
  • "UWiL was the first time I had ever been around a group of women who were like me: motivated for the same reasons, thinking in the same way, and caring about the same issues.  It was honestly life-changing to have such an empowering experience so early on in my college years.  UWiL helped to solidify my personal and career goals with the belief that I had the tools and the know-how to reach them."
  • "UWiL is not just about the credit or the recognition on a resume; it is about taking part in something bigger - it is knowing that you are taking part in closing the gender gap in leadership positions and that you are one step ahead of many of your other classmates before even completing your degree. I am so thankful for UWiL; I now have the confidence and a network of strong-minded women to explore my options as a leader in public service or in any other field I may want to pursue."

Contact Us

Michelle Goncalves
Executive Director
UMass Women into Leadership
374 Whitmore 
UMass Amherst
181 President's Drive 
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545 - 1978