What year are you and what are you studying?
My name is Rose Burnam. I’m currently a senior studying Economics.
Where did you work this summer, and what was your position?
This summer, I worked as a research intern for the Hamilton Project, a part of the Brookings Institution which creates public policies designed to make the domestic economy work better for more people.
What kind of work and projects were you a part of during your internship?
I focused on topics including prisoner re-entry, occupational licensing, Head Start, and life expectancy. My day-to-day tasks included conducting my own empirical analysis, fact checking other empirical work prior to analysis, and conducting literature reviews.
One particular project I worked on was making age earnings profiles of those who have never been incarcerated relative to those who have been incarcerated at some point.
How did you find this internship, and what was the application process like?
I found this internship with the help of one of my economics professors, Robin McKnight. She recommended that I apply to the Hamilton Project because she knew of my interest in social policy.
For the application process, I submitted a resume, cover letter, unofficial transcript, and writing sample. I had two phone interviews – one with a research assistant and the second with the director of The Hamilton Project.
What is one thing you wish you knew going into this internship?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know what’s going on. At Wellesley, many of us pride ourselves on not needing help and being self sufficient, which is great. However, there is nothing wrong with asking questions and making sure that you are doing exactly what your supervisor had in mind.
How has Wellesley prepared you for this internship experience?
Wellesley has prepared me in two ways: My economics classes, especially econometrics classes, gave me the skills to work with data. Outside of economics, Wellesley taught me to ask questions and to challenge assumptions about how the world works.
What advice would you give to students who are currently searching for internships?
Talk to Professors, mentors at Career Education, and friends here at Wellesley about ideas and advice they have. Google organizations whose work you admire and see if they have internship programs, and if they don’t, consider sending them an email and asking if they would consider having you as an intern. The worst they can do is say no, so don’t be afraid to reach out.