Finding Your Voice as An Intern and An Applicant – Gabriella Lieberman

Emerge MA alum running in 2021

Interning at Emerge MA was one of the most impactful experiences in my life. While my work was not campaign-focused, as I originally thought it would be, the internship taught me a great deal about what I bring to the table as an intern. My supervisor and the Board of Directors cultivated an environment in which I was encouraged to propose and executive my initiatives as well as take credit for my ideas. For instance, when I proposed a new social media campaign to highlight Emerge MA’s alumni working as campaign managers, my supervisor loved it and encouraged me to see it to fruition. Though social media is not my strong suit, it was very empowering to see an initiative all the way through. 

In addition, Emerge MA showed me the beauty and rigors of public service. It is not every day that I have the opportunity to be surrounded by a group of politically empowered women ready to tackle the issues their communities face. Emerge MA imbues a culture of dedication, selflessness, and perseverance. The lesson of perseverance could not have come at a better time for me. The application process this summer was especially brutal, and after having been rejected from plenty of organizations, I had very little self-confidence in my abilities as an intern. Though I was fortunate enough to be accepted into several programs in May, I could not shake the feeling that I was not worthy enough. Emerge MA changed that. Public service, especially on the local and state level, is both rewarding and incredibly difficult. There are many sacrifices people must be willing to make to serve in elected office. My supervisor, the board of directors, and the alumnae have withstood a lot – including losing an election. However, no matter what, these powerful people continued to show up and serve their communities in any way they could. 

I now can recognize that rejections are not embarrassing but a part of life. So, instead of hiding from my rejections, I take them as an opportunity to learn. Whenever I get rejected from an internship or job, I take the time to ask for feedback. Feedback is a great way not only to learn how I can be a better applicant for next time but to get some closure. I would recommend asking for feedback – especially if you are interested in re-applying for the position because it shows maturity and personal strength. 

Another piece of advice I would give to future applicants is that it is okay not to know something. I began this summer with the quest of finding the key to my future success, a concrete roadmap, if you will, of my life. I am proud to end my summer internship at Emerge MA with more questions than answers. This may sound like I failed my mission, but in reality, I am doing myself a favor. I believe that by embracing the complexity of choosing a career path and the inevitably of change, I am setting myself up for greater success. 

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