Hi! My name is Mimi Feldmann-DeMello and I am a rising senior majoring in politics and environmental studies! This summer, I am interning in Boston for U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey. We are located in the John F. Kennedy Federal Building right beside the Boston Common!
Since I am interning in a state office (versus the main office in D.C.), I deal more with constituent services than I do with legislation. My daily schedule varies although it is flexible. I am living in Cambridge, MA for the summer and going to my hometown of Falmouth, MA on the weekends. During the week, I take the red-line to work and arrive around 8:40am. The office is open from 9am-6pm, but I like to get there early to settle in, choose my computer for the day, and change my shoes. I also have a daily phone shift. This means myself and another intern staff the front desk in one or two-hour phone shifts throughout the day to field constituent calls, receive constituents and companies who have meetings with staffers or the Senator, and let other staffers and interns into the office via push-button since our office has a permanently locked security door. Before or after my phone shift, depending on my phone shift assignment, I consult with my assigned staffers. One staffer is in charge of Immigration, Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Corrections, and Homeland Security assignments and the other is in charge of Education, Small Business issues and is the regional director of regional Districts 1 and 3 in Massachusetts.
To support these two staffers, I ask what help they need on the projects they are currently working on. These projects can range from writing support letters to the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is a common assignment as there are a lot of people in the lurch whose casework has not been processed in a timely manner or gets misplaced, to Googling events in a certain district for constituents to be aware of, to attending an immigration open house at the International Institute of New England, which settles refugees in and around the Greater Boston area and the Greater Manchester, New Hampshire area to providing general administrative assistance.
Further, the State Director of Senator Markey’s Boston office used to be a State Rep in the Massachusetts State House. He holds speaking engagements at the MA State House and I have had an opportunity to hear him speak about his career path which was an honor. Generally, the afternoons are quieter than the mornings, both in terms of the calls we field and of the office work that there is to do. More often than not, we gather at the TV in the intern “bullpen” to hear Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ press briefings in the afternoons. One of the more notable briefings recently was the one with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, speak about illegal border crossings and children being separated from their families at the Southern Border. That caused quite an uproar from Massachusetts constituents in recent days who did not support the separation.
All in all, I am part of an amazing office environment this summer with supportive staff and fellow interns. We are all working for the constituents of Massachusetts and as the Senator’s support staff on all of his events and speaking engagements. This internship is a perfect learning opportunity for someone eager to learn more about the federal government!
Experiences like Mimi’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Victoria Wolff