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Intern through the Massachusetts Governor's Internship Program
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Jaclyn Rothenberg

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Needham, MA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had heard about this program through high school peers who participated in it as well.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I shadowed employees through all units in the Department of Industrial Accidents of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. I learned about the Trust Fund, defense lawyers, judges, investigations, claims, office of safety, impartial scheduling, health policy, public information, and IT. I also interviewed the managers of each unit and created a survey that was sent out to 200+ employees of all 5 regional sites in Massachusetts. I collected and analyzed the responses. I gave the results to the senior managers in a presentation in order to determine how to improve the agency as a whole. I also had the opportunity to listen to speakers at the Massachusetts State House such as Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and Chief of Staff of Governor Baker to name a few.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I had an amazing opportunity to learn about how a state agency truly works. With 200+ employees and 5 regional sites in Massachusetts, it takes a great deal of organization, which is very difficult to maintain. There are also people from extremely diverse backgrounds and experiences, which surprised me how well they worked together. I learned that it's important to create a warm and open work environment. The managers' line communication had to be open as well in order to be successful. It's also tough to be a state employee because the technology provided, with the limited budget they have, was far from ideal. The technology would shut down, update throughout the day, and the servers/programs would overload, causing less productivity. I was fortunate to learn firsthand about the experiences from lawyers and judges, which interested me the most. They allowed me to ask them about how they might rule on a case, or what factors they will take into consideration before coming up with an order.

I was fortunate to learn firsthand about the experiences from lawyers and judges, which interested me the most.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This experience really helped me pinpoint exactly what type of work I'd like to try after completing law school. I was definitely inspired even more to go to law school after working with lawyers and judges. The senior judge reminded me that no one can take away my degrees, so it's something that I'd really like to be proud of having. Even though I liked the work environment, I'd really like to have my own practice/business or work in the private sector first because I don't have the patience to work with such limited resources that they had. Often times they didn't have control over policies, resources, access to databases, etc. I was also inspired to be a good manager/leader thanks to the amazing Director I worked for.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I think it's a good experience to have even if it means eliminating options or thinking about what you don't want in the future. Sometimes that's even more helpful. I think being an intern in general shows that you're willing to do what you can just for the experience even if you're not paid or getting credit. You learn important soft skills like appropriate dress, timeliness, working in a team, etc. You also build a larger network at the same time.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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