The Importance of Being an Intern

The following entry was written by Chelsey Cartwright, Class of 2013.

Internships have given me valuable insight into the fields I’m passionate about. While my experience at Emerson has been shaped by many academic endeavors, I have also learned that networking and compiling resources are the first steps in building a fruitful career.

The two internships I’ve held have been a critical part of my growth as a journalist. In the spring of 2012 I interned in the Public Affairs department at WHDH-TV Channel 7 Boston. I was able to write and produce my own show, Race, Politics, and Power within the Obama Administration, where I explored my passion for issues of cultural diversity and politics and how those worlds collide. At WHDH I met reporters, directors, and producers that readily shared their collective knowledge. Like a true journalist, I asked my supervisor daily questions about the future of television news. At the end of the semester I was able to add an industry-level producing job to my resume; what wonderful feeling to come away armed with the know-how to be an effective producer.

View of the State House from Emerson

View of the State House from Emerson

Currently, I intern for the Office of Governor Deval Patrick. I chose an internship in the State House because gubernatorial politics are just as interesting as national politics to me. For the next three months, I’ll call the Office of Constituent Services my part-time home. Whether I’m meeting the needs of constituents through phone calls, mailed letters, or in person, I have come to value the influence that citizens can have. Our office is the front line of contact from the Governor to Massachusetts en masse, and the substantial responsibility is both a lot of pressure and a great honor. Government in the Commonwealth has been a beacon of inspiration to the nation as a whole, and I’m grateful that I can be a part of the Governor’s vision. And it doesn’t hurt that my commute to the State House from Emerson is a lovely half-mile walk through the Boston Common.

Though I still have several weeks left at the Office of Constituent Services, I’ve already developed an insider’s view of the interconnectivity of state, local, and national government. Under the golden dome state representatives, state senators, legal counsel, and chiefs of staff (only a few pieces of the puzzle!) all work jointly to tackle legislative issues of the Commonwealth. I’m energized to further my career in politics because of the understanding I’ve gained here. There’s no doubt that working in Governor Patrick’s office will prove indispensable in my forthcoming career as a young professional.

The greatest takeaway from my internships is a newfound view of success: it is not determined by financial triumph, but the meaningful impact that I can make on my community and the world at large. Through my experience in television news and state and local politics, I can envision the future I hope to carve out of these two mediums. I felt nurtured by Emerson’s internship support and empowered to seek positions in disciplines that are important to me; as a result, my internships have propelled be toward my goals of becoming a young politico.

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