In mid-November our team celebrated work with 100 interns and fellows over the past four years I’ve been in office and the team has been working on behalf of our district.
Interns and fellows inspire us with their passion and commitment to public service. Their work expands our efforts immeasurably and allows our team to do much more on behalf of constituents and municipalities.
Our team also shares the belief that it’s our job to support and help launch a powerful, rising generation.
We average about eight interns in each Spring, Summer, and Fall internship session, split fairly evenly between the district and the State House.
Interns hail from many different educational backgrounds: University of Massachusetts Amherst undergraduate and graduate students, Mount Holyoke College, Greenfield Community College, Smith College, district high school students, and more.
Undergraduate and high school interns are responsible for logging constituent contacts, writing letters to constituents and state agencies, tracking news, supporting district events, and researching legislation and constituent inquiries.
Some graduate-level interns have worked closely with Legislative Director, Brian Rosman, as public health fellows, leading legislative research, drafting legislation, and staffing committee hearings. Public health fellows have joined our office from the Harvard School of Public Health, Suffolk University Law School, Northeastern Law School, Tufts University, Boston University School of Public Health, and Harvard Law School – such as Himaja Nagireddy who worked with us for about 14 months and is currently a youth observer to the United Nations while serving on the Acton Selectboard.
Many interns have gone on to pursue law school or graduate school in public policy. Others have entered the workforce completing AmeriCorps service, finding work in the nonprofit and social service sectors, municipal government, and union organizing.
As we approached the 100-intern/fellow milestone, we sent out a survey and were overwhelmed by the responses. Here are just a few:
“Interning in this office was a key part in deciding my future plans. I decided that I wanted to focus my career on Massachusetts politics,” said Rachel Khanna, a public policy graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “It also helped me to realize how much of the work is constituent-focused, which I love, because it shows you how much constituents can play a role in what is on the agenda, and you know that you’re making a direct impact!”
“The experience … empowered me to be able to see myself doing legislative work in the future,” said Tegan Oliver, a Senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst majoring in Public Health Sciences and Political Science. She added, “I remember writing both a written and oral testimony on a bill that Senator Comerford ended up using at a hearing, and it was so surreal to hear my words as part of the legislative process!”
“My experience interning for the office made me realize the impact that can be had on the local level!” Said Shannon McAndrew, the Senior Administrative Assistant in the Town Manager’s Office for the Town of Concord. “Interacting with constituents is so important for mobilizing around issues and policies that are important to us, which is something I learned well in the office.”
The spring 2023 Team Comerford intern application is now open. District Director, Elena Cohen, will lead the team in reviewing applications beginning on December 1, 2022. The application can be found at senatorjocomerford.org/contact/internships-employment/.
All are welcome to apply.