How a High School Internship in Government led to a position at the Boston City Council

During her junior at Newton South High School, Michelle excitedly told us about a week long school trip to Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Close up Foundation. She became very enthused about the American political system. After our meeting with Michelle, we matched her to a Senator’s office at the MA State House.

“I see apathy among my generation and realized that I’d like to become involved. Working for the Senator is fascinating. I’m attending hearings and seminars as well as researching issues and legislation. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity.”

Her Mentor, legislative aide Cat Anderson wrote: ” Michelle is a self-starter and quickly learned to plow right in. She reported about information gleaned from attending hearings, drafted letters to constituents, and helped with data entry and research. She was a wonderful presence in the office.”

After her undergrad studies Michelle went on to law school. We recently caught up with her on LinkedIn and congratulated her on her appointment as the Director of Legislative Budget Analysis at the Boston City Council. 


Michelle wrote,

“Thank you! I had such a great experience with that internship, and it’s been interesting how over the years I’ve continually been pulled back to legislative work – and able to use that internship as experience! Hope all is well!”

Jung’s Law And Government Internship in Boston

Jung, also known as Paul, is from British Columbia. A junior at Phillips Academy, he was interested in government and law. We connected him to a wonderful State Representative in the MA State House, and arranged summer housing on Beacon Hill.

In his own words:

“Dr. Jabbawy helped me create a resume, prepped me for my interview and matched my interest in law to an internship at the Mass State House. In addition, she also helped me find comfortable and close housing on Beacon Hill, only 5 minutes away.
At work, I took phone calls from constituents, wrote letters, attended hearings on the laws which the legislature would be voting on, and went to seminars involving Representatives, Senators, sometimes Governors – past and present – and other influential people related to government. I also volunteered to be the student host for a seminar featuring John Regan, who is the Vice President of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). My part was to introduce the guest speaker by reading his biography. I enjoyed the opportunity to address the fifty interns who had gathered to listen to the speaker. Without a doubt, I felt very nervous but it was a great chance for me to not only practice my public speaking but also become better acquainted with the speaker.

Getting to meet and work with these people who were very much currently involved in the political process was such an exciting task for me and much more than I hoped for as an intern. The best part of my internship was the people: my boss, my fellow intern and all the other people that I met ‘on the job’. They were all amazing, not only to work with but to “hang out” with as well. I definitely know that my experience at the State House has allowed me to form personal connections that will remain as I continue my career – my boss and I still keep touch, and he encourages me to come back to work at the State House again next summer!

During my last week, Dr. Jabbawy also arranged a visit to Goodwin Procter, a large Boston law firm where I met with a corporate attorney in the technology group who described his business practice. This was interesting as my intended career path in law matched up with the corporate attorney’s at Goodwin Procter. This was an opportunity for me to get a close-up view of the law firm (which was huge!) and some of the things that went on in the firm itself.”

MA Government Internship With State Representative

Gideon, a sophomore at Newton South, was fascinated by politics and government. We matched him to the legislative aide for his State Representative of Newton. He had the opportunity to provide office support and attend hearings and daily meetings with invited speakers, including Governor Patrick and members of the MA Senate. As an intern, he was able to volunteer at the National Conference of State Legislators Annual Meeting where thousands of state legislators and staff listened to speakers such as Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff and Speaker of the U.S. House, Nancy Pelosi.

Gideon told us that he was very grateful for this opportunity and was thrilled to be asked to return as an intern next summer.

Exciting Internship at the Massachusetts State House

Jennifer, pictured on the left, is one of the most enthusiastic students we have ever interviewed. She was a senior at Buckingham Browne and Nichols, interested in leadership, public speaking and government. Jennifer participated as a senior prefect and on the student activities council at BB&N. It was so impressive that she traveled a long distance each day to school by public transportation and held down a part-time job in addition to her heavy course load, handling everything with charm and an upbeat attitude. We thought that she would be a perfect addition to the office of the State Representative from her hometown district.

Jennifer’s mentor was a wonderful young woman of Hispanic origin who held the position of legislative aid. Noel arranged for Jennifer to attend hearings and listen to speakers with both the Black Legal Caucus and the Women’s Caucus where she learned about issues pertaining to HIV, issues for welfare mothers, and speakers on the environmental impact of current state-wide legislation. She learned about the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship program which provides training and job placement for college students in non-profit and governmental agencies. She saw government in action, watched as a bill was passed, and was treated with the college interns to a “thank you” lunch hosted by her State Representative.

Jennifer is now a freshman at Bryn Mawr (her first choice) and writes that she is grateful for her exposure to government and is already an active member in the student government association and was elected class president. Congratulations Jen!

Government Internship in Boston for an International Student

Dr. Jabbawy met with Ellie at her Boston hotel when her parents were visiting from China. Ellie, a student at Northfield Mt. Hermon,  participated in debate and writing for her school newspaper and had previously interned in a law firm in Shanghai. Because she became interested in political science and governmental relations and we were able to establish 2 part-time internships for her, one at the State House with the first, newly elected Asian State Representative and the second at a prestigious international governmental relations firm.

In her journal, Ellie wrote:

“I’ve been interning for three weeks and everything is going well. I really appreciate your help finding me housing. Now I only need to walk for 5 minutes to get to both internships. I didn’t expect that in each place, I would be the only high school student and the only international student.The work is very interesting and I get several projects to work on every day.

At the government relations firm:

I tweeted for clients, conducted research and drafted press releases. One time the HR manager asked me to go online and find potential clients for the firm. The senior vice president from the PR side was interested in an article that I shared with him and he asked me to write a pitch for this potential client.

At the State House:

The things I usually do include picking up the mail, drafting response to the constituents, going to intern seminars and hearings. The people are very nice and I’ve established close relationship with many people. There is always free food and this Wednesday there will be free Lobster!!

I think working in both places definitely integrated my knowledge about political science and public relations. I love my internships and thank you again for helping me find these great opportunities!”

In his letter of recommendation, the State Representative wrote,

“Ellie has been a wonderful asset to me and my legislative aide. Her strong communication skills have been invaluable when interacting with constituents… She was eager to attend hearings and legislative briefings and reported back findings to our office staff. On more than one occasion, she was chosen to introduce honorary speakers at the Legislative Intern Seminars, including MA Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray…I have no doubt that she personifies the character and skills of an excellent undergraduate student at your university.”

An Exciting Internship at the Intersection of Businesses and Government

Alex, a graduate of Gann Academy, is majoring in business at American University’s Kogod School of Business. Alex wasn’t sure if he would be able to participate in an internship because of a previously planned family trip in the middle of the summer, but we were able to create a customized work schedule with his mentor.

We matched Alex to the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, where he witnesses the interaction of businesses and state government. He attended board hearings, created spreadsheets and questionnaires, and received the highest praise from the entire department.

Alex wrote,

“The best part of my internship has been witnessing the interaction between businesses in Massachusetts and the state government. In doing this I have been able to attend hearings and see in person the impact that economic development can have on the local job market and economy.”

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