Massachusetts State House, Office of Senator Adam Hinds, Boston, MA
Going into this summer, I had set two goals that I wanted to accomplish while working as a policy intern for Senator Adam G. Hinds. Having worked on a campaign last summer, I thought it beneficial to complement my previous political experience with legislative work in order to gain a better understanding of American politics. I also wanted to help research and craft policy that benefits the people of Western Massachusetts. Thankfully, I was able to do both.
Since my internship was remote, I was initially worried that I would be incapable of gaining valuable work experience. Sitting at home in front of my computer is not quite the same as working in an office. Nevertheless, the state office supplemented the lack of in-person work with intern series and trainings, which allowed me to meet other interns and politicians while simultaneously introducing me to the various state offices. Additionally, my intern supervisor, Chief of Staff Stephen Maher, met with me regularly to ensure that I was not only performing tasks to the best of my ability, but also getting to explore the policy areas of interest to me.
Although I did perform various constituent services, such as filtering through and organizing constituent requests to increase the speed at which our office responded to the concerns of local residents, the majority of my summer work consisted of doing research and drafting policy memos. I began my research by familiarizing myself with previous housing policy decisions. Yet as the summer went on, I focused on more specific policy areas that required me to work alongside the other departments in order to gain access to various real estate and housing information. I then relayed my findings to Chief Maher, and he and I would spend some time discussing their implications before I drafted a policy memo that would be presented to Senator Hinds. One of my favorite research assignments even enabled me to combine housing and educational policy. I worked on ways to use Western Massachusetts’ public schools’ systems to increase the opportunities available to and outcomes experienced by residents. This was especially fulfilling for it enabled me to give back to an area that has given me so much.
Now that I have worked on both sides of the political sphere—legislation and campaigning—I feel as if I have a much better idea of the way our political system functions. And I definitely see myself trying to get involved with the politics in the future (hopefully, on the legislative side of things). For now, however, I believe what I have learned through this internship—the knowledge I have gained about various policy areas and the skills I have developed through discussing and writing about policy issues—will prove beneficial not only for future job opportunities, but for my course work at Williams as well.
I cannot thank the Estate of George Mead and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration enough for making this all possible.