Jonah Tobin ’23

Office of Massachusetts State Senator Adam Hinds, Boston, MA

As an intern for State Senator Adam Hinds, I have had the unique opportunity to be involved in both statewide affairs and issues affecting the Berkshire communities; and to be involved, learn, and work on issues affecting Williamstown and its neighbors. Additionally, the timing of this internship occurred over the most important stretch of the legislative session as all bills for this Selfie Jonah Tobin '23 at a deskyear must be passed before July 31st. I witnessed a complex time involving issues of telemedicine and loss of state revenue resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. I saw the creation of a new state holiday on Juneteenth and a legislative fight for police reform amidst the current fight for racial equity.

With the entire office working remotely, Chief of Staff Stephen Maher and I crafted my internship to involve independent and group work. My main work centered on major research projects including a deep dive into employee ownership structures. For this, I spoke with individuals in California, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, as well as three different businesses owners who operate in the Berkshires. The report and recommendations I made led to an invitation to attend a virtual conference on employee ownership at Rutgers. Other research projects involved homelessness, housing, and police reform. My research needed to balance the economic and political situation in the Berkshires with the innovative ideas happening in other communities. To create actionable recommendations, I had to factor both the ideal end results with the available means.

In addition to research, my days were filled with media reports, summaries of Governor Charlie Baker’s briefings, note taking on a range of meetings, and other small projects. Furthermore, this internship allowed me to form a personal connection with each member and learn from them directly.

This internship reinforced a dream I have had since elementary school of working in government, as I continuously saw the tangible ways good government betters the lives of its citizens. That said, political science is just one way to get there. I want to continue studying economics because of its intersection with public policy. An understanding of this field will lead to better decision-making regarding allocation of available and limited resources in trying to meet great ends.

My experience and learning would not have been possible without the support of Mr. James Marver ’72. Thank you for allowing students like me to explore and take risks as we navigate our own career path. I would also like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration, and in particular Ms. Dawn Dellea, for organizing this program and helping me think through my options. My work and career will change over my life, but this summer with Senator Adam Hinds, Stephen Maher, and the rest of the staff will continue to be an opportunity that I cherish.