Massachusetts State House, Office of Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Boston, MA
Working for the Office of Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier this summer gave me lots of insight into the paths I might want to pursue in the future. My work involved attending remote hearings, writing testimony, and creating informational materials about upcoming bills. It was a great experience and it confirmed that, while I don’t necessarily want to work in a legislative office, I might have a lot of fun working in the legislative process from a research and advocacy perspective.
This internship usually takes place in person, but the State House was closed due to Covid-19 precautions. The remote format had its upsides and downsides: on one hand, people who would otherwise have not been able to work as legislative interns could do so. I was one of them—I lived in Williamstown without a vehicle this summer, and commuting to the State House to attend an in-person internship would have been impossible for me to do. On the other hand, I found it difficult to maintain my drive and focus due to the remote format despite being interested in the work I was doing. I eventually migrated from my sweltering dorm to an air-conditioned building across campus from 9-5, which helped create some physical work-life separation. I am happy with the work that I did given the circumstances, but I know that I could have done more and been less stressed about it if I had been working in person. One of the many things this internship taught me is that I need some structure in order to function in a healthy way.
I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend collaborating with my supervisors and fellow interns, and even got to meet up in person with another Williamstown-based intern to prepare personalized letters to Pittsfield’s graduating high school students. Furthermore, it was clear that my supervisors wanted to provide an engaging and educational experience: recognizing that remote work offered fewer networking opportunities, the State House hosted a virtual intern speaker series, inviting a variety of speakers from government-related positions to talk about what their jobs entailed and to answer questions from interns. The talks were interesting and attending them gave me a better sense of how the legislative process works beyond the small parts in which I was directly involved.
My favorite project involved creating an animated informational video about the Work and Family Mobility Act, a bill expanding driver’s license accessibility for Massachusetts residents by allowing people to apply for driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status. Making the video was fun and I felt like I was really making a difference in people’s lives by helping advocate for a bill that would facilitate access to necessary transportation for families across the Commonwealth.
Overall, I am glad that I got to do this internship and am immensely grateful to the Estate of George Mead and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration.