Maria Martinez, Class of 2021 majoring in political science and Spanish, takes on a summer experience as a Campaign & Latinx Outreach Intern for Joe Kennedy for MA Senate Campaign. Martinez speaks to the skills she’s developed and how she has leveraged her experience to make a difference in the Merrimack Valley Latinx community.
Q: Thanks for giving us your time today to talk about your work on the Kennedy for MA campaign! Can you talk about the process of finding and applying for your internship?
A: The process of finding this internship was fairly easy for me. I had found this internship on Handshake early July of 2020. I had been looking for an internship all summer and I was very excited that this internship was going to be remote due to COVID-19. Thanks to what my career advisor, Katie Fell [Career Advisor in the School of Liberal Arts], has taught me I was able to review my resume and see what would make me the person that would best fit for the role.
Q: That’s really great to hear that finding an internship and connecting with your career advisor was a seamless process for you. For many, COVID-19 disrupted their summer internship plans. Did you find COVID-19 impacted how you searched for a role?
A: I truly thought that my summer internship opportunities were going to be ruined due to COVID-19, but that was not the case. I looked every single day until I found an internship like Joe Kennedy’s Senate Campaign that extremely interested me. I set up a goal to find an internship even if it was only for the last month of my summer, but I never gave up. I am so glad I am part of Joe Kennedy’s Campaign Team.
Q: And we are so glad that you didn’t give up! With your internship wrapping up soon, can you explain what your day-to-day responsibilities have looked like?
A: I am currently in charge of engaging with the Latinx community in the Lawrence area. I am part of many Latinx virtual events, and endorsements towards Joe Kennedy’s Campaign. On a daily basis, I meet virtually with the field team of the Merrimack Valley region, to talk about our daily goals and achievements that we have completed individually and as a team for the campaign.
Also, I meet with the Latinx team called (Latinos con Kennedy) consecutively throughout the week. I am in charge of always reaching out to all Massachusetts voters in the Merrimack Valley region that reside in Lawrence and I always make sure I follow up with them and the volunteers that are assigned to me that are helping with the campaign as well. I always smile and dial, this means that I make calls through Hubdialer and Votebuilder to remind people about our Massachusetts primary election, as well as the vote by mail ballot and if they need anything through this COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Wow! It sounds like you are incredibly busy, building relationships and working within the Latinx community. What skills and strengths have you developed through this internship?
A: I have great communication, critical thinking and time management skills that work well with my current internship position. I had developed public speaking skills during this internship which I am thankful for. I am usually a very introverted person, but this internship made me get out of my comfort zone and it definitely made me get more comfortable and made me gain confidence in myself that I lacked before. Also, knowing how to use social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Zoom and even TikTok have been amazing skills that helped me to be more engaged virtually in the campaign to gain better knowledge of voters as well as to promote the campaign positively.
Q: Good to hear. Was Merrimack College able to prepare you for this internship?
A: The Political Science department as well as the World Languages department at Merrimack College helped me prepare for my future. Thanks to all of my professors and my career advisor that I’ve had throughout my four years at Merrimack, I was able to apply all of my knowledge and skills that I had learned in the classroom to my political campaign internship. Being involved at Merrimack by working for the Financial Capability Center as a former Spanish Translator, being able to be an International Orientation Leader my sophomore and junior year, and currently working for the Sakowich Campus Center as an Information Assistant have prepared me to enhance my communication and leadership skills that future internships are looking for.
Q: It sounds like your experiences in and out of the classroom at Merrimack have really helped you to success. Any lingering advice you’d like to give to Merrimack students regarding career development, interviewing or applying for positions?
A: My advice to Merrimack students is to be sure to always use the resources that Merrimack provides as much as you can. Try to attend guest speakers events, events for your major, talk to your career advisor early on and most importantly try to get involved on campus. Getting involved on campus will open your doors to many opportunities and will allow you to make amazing connections for your future career.
Are you ready to secure an internship or employment for the fall and beyond? The O’Brien Center for Career Development is here to help you! Visit Handshake today to search for open opportunities, meet with your career advisor, and more.