Why you should apply to SBS in DC

This past summer, I had the privilege of participating in the 2021 “SBS in DC” program, completing a Communications and Policy Internship at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.

Before flying down to D.C. and beginning my internship, I had constantly heard from staff and alumni that this was a life-changing program. Yet, I didn’t realize how true that was until I finally got to participate myself.

Let me tell you why you should apply to “SBS in DC”, too and why this program truly can be life changing for you!

Come to an info session to learn more. In person and virtual sessions listed in the “events” section of Handshake. Applications for Summer 2022 are open in Handshake September 20th-October 17th (11:59pm)!

Completing a full-time internship in Washington D.C. will help give you a leg up during the post-graduate job search!

Before participating in SBS in DC, I had never had a full-time internship experience. This summer, however, I got to wake up five times a week for 10 weeks to learn from and work with exceptional professionals in my field!

By devoting so much time to my internship, I learned a lot about the field that I am interested in, what a day-to-day job in the career really looks like, and what kinds of skills are needed to be successful in my future career. This experience and knowledge to draw upon will help set me apart as I begin to apply to my first job.

You’ll gain important professional skills.

One of the best things about SBS in DC is that it’s a comprehensive professional development program. Not only are you gaining working experience through your internship, but you will also get to participate in weekly classes throughout the spring and summer to supplement your internship experience.

Throughout the year, you will get personalized advice on resumes, cover letters, interviewing, networking, crafting an elevator pitch, and more. All of these skills are important for continuing on in your professional journey and will last you a lifetime!

You’ll learn more about yourself, your interests, and what kind of work you enjoy doing!

Going into this program, I had somewhat of an idea of what field I was interested in, but hadn’t yet had the real-world experience to confirm it.

After getting to work at my internship for 10 weeks, I learned that I really loved the issues I was advocating for and that I definitely wanted to continue in this field! It helped me narrow down that I am interested in federal politics and informed me on what kind of work makes me the happiest.

Every one of my cohort members also came out with much deeper knowledge about what they are interested in, what kind of skills they excel at using, and what they’d like to try next!

I wouldn’t have been able to know that about myself without the SBS in DC experience.

SBS in DC will boost your confidence and knowledge! 

By completing a full-time internship and participating in professional development classes, SBS in DC helps to build your confidence in yourself by equipping you with the skills and knowledge to draw upon in future classes, interviews, and jobs.

The program makes a great effort to bring in a diverse set of speakers in a variety of fields. Getting to connect with professionals that I saw myself in and related to helped me better envision myself in those future roles and boosted my confidence of what I can achieve!

You’ll gain an invaluable network of professionals who are willing to guide you

Perhaps my favorite part of the SBS in DC program was the amazing network of alumni that I was able to connect with throughout the summer.

Every cohort member is assigned to a DC-based UMass alumni who is in their field. My mentor and I met up a few times throughout the summer, and it was so helpful to get support from someone who knew D.C. well and could give honest advice about how to navigate my internship. My mentor was also helpful in connecting me with other professionals in his network that I was able to meet with for coffee and learn about!

These connections will last beyond my time in D.C. and I am so grateful to have gotten to cultivate relationships with professionals that I can lean on as I continue on in my professional journey.

You’ll meet an amazing network of like-minded students to support you during your internship and beyond

My best memories in D.C. were definitely all of the times that I got to spend getting to know an inspiring, talented, and incredibly uplifting group of other SBS students.

Living in a house of 21 students seemed scary at first, but my worries were eased almost instantly after moving in. Each of the cohort members shared similar interests, passions, and ambitions, making it so easy for us all to connect and support one another.

Even after our summer together has ended, we still meet up and root for each other on a daily basis. I cannot express my gratitude enough for these friendships that I likely would not have been able to make otherwise.

Housing is free!

SBS in DC is dedicated to creating internship opportunities to students who might not otherwise get to, and that is shown through the fully funded housing that is provided. Because housing is provided for (and scholarships are available) this program is accessible to anyone of any background.

Come to an info session to learn more. In person and virtual sessions listed in the “events” section of Handshake. Applications for Summer 2022 are open in Handshake September 20th-October 17th (11:59pm)!

By Irina Costache
Irina Costache Program Fellow