What's life like after an EMILY's List internship? Read on to find out what some of our fantastic former interns did after their internships! And don't forget to apply for an EMILY's List internship today.
Bianca Rosales, Former Communications Intern
Communications Assistant, NARAL Pro-Choice America
My passion for politics and women’s rights runs deep, so when I came across EMILY’s List, I figured it would be a perfect fit. I was so excited, but even then, I had no idea that my decision to apply for an internship and join this amazing organization would be one of the best decisions I could have made. I remember thinking to myself that this internship would probably be like all the others where I intern for a semester, probably get some good experience, but mostly use it to put on my resume and move on. However, as my time at EMILY’s List would show, that was not the case. In fact, my internship experience would far surpass any expectations I had in more ways than one.
For starters, EMILY’s List was unbelievably empowering. I was surrounded by a ton of powerful, kind, and motivated women (and men) who were dedicated to uplifting women—and that included molding and supporting their young interns. Put simply, they wanted to see us succeed so they invested their time and resources into us. As a communications intern, I of course gained a lot of skills in writing, messaging, and media, but it didn’t end there. They encouraged us to get involved and help in other departments that we may have had an interest in. They even held trainings and workshops, such as a campaign training and resume building workshop to make sure we were getting as much out of our experience as possible. But above all else, they cared. I felt the sincerity in all departments, but I especially felt it in the communications department where I interned. They took me in and truly looked after me, so much so that they helped me find my first job post-graduation. That type of support system in an internship is few and far in between and I will always be grateful to the entire organization for their consistent support while I was an intern and even now that I am no longer on the EMILY’s List team.
It’s difficult to pinpoint which moment in my internship was my favorite as there were truly so many (and I am not over exaggerating), but I think my favorite part was when we traveled to Pennsylvania to canvass for Katie McGinty who was running for U.S. Senate. The other interns and I had a blast not only getting to know each other better but also bonding with staff at all levels of the organization. I even got to meet and take a picture with Katie McGinty at a campaign event, which was so cool for a politics nerd like me. I remember leaving that weekend completely inspired and excited to continue this type of work. The internship at EMILY’s List led to my current position as communication assistant at NARAL Pro-Choice America where I fight for women’s reproductive freedom every single day. As a native Texan, I never imagined myself excelling in a fast paced, cut throat city like D.C., but here I am and much of that is thanks to EMILY’s List and the invaluable skills and experiences I gained because of my internship.
Paul Wells, Former Marketing Intern
Operations Assistant/Receptionist, EMILY’s List
I first encountered EMILY’s List during my junior year of high school. One day sitting at home sick in the bed, I came across a re-airing of the EMILY’s List 25th Anniversary Celebration. For all of my newfound love for politics at the time, I had never heard of Ellen Malcolm, EMILY’s List or so many of the courageous and hard-working women and men that were there in that ballroom. Nonetheless, I quickly googled the organization, found some interesting facts and figured that was the end of my fascination with EMILY’s List. Fast forward to my senior year of college, I realized that I needed to complete another internship for credit, but I wanted to be somewhere where I felt empowered and motivated. In college, I focused heavily on the lack of opportunities that women, especially minority women, were being given to serve in the field of politics and I automatically knew that EMILY’s List would be the perfect blend of politics and women’s empowerment. I wanted to make my last semester at American University the best yet, so I applied to this organization hoping it would give me the tools necessary to become a political operative and be a part of the election in a year that could be the biggest upset for women in politics ever.
I still remember my first day. I was so nervous that even with all of my past internship and campaign experience, the staff would find me to be completely inept at my job. What I discovered was the exact opposite. The marketing team was so friendly and spirited and from my first day here, I fell in love not only with the mission and purpose of EMILY’s List, but with the people working here in the office. I enjoyed being a part of a team where staff and interns worked hand in hand to promote the strengths of this organization and the candidates that we were working so hard to support.
One of my favorite moments from my internship was meeting EMILY’s List founder Ellen Malcolm as she talked about the early days of EMILY’s List and her new book When Women Win. The book discussed so many of my favorite leaders in politics including Elizabeth Warren, Barbara Mikulski, and Hillary Clinton. Her talk that day reminded me of why the work we do here at EMILY’s List is so important and why we need to keep fighting to open more doors for women in politics, and more importantly break down all the barriers that have been placed in the path of strong, empowered women who want to make a difference in this country and in the world.
In the office, EMILY’s List exposed me to various aspects of a campaign. I learned about the value of communications, the importance of research, and the strength of effective teamwork. Even though I was interning in the Marketing department, all the other departments were open to teaching interns what their role was in the organization and how they helped our women win.
Above all else, I realized that my work, even the smallest assignments, was contributing to the important work that all of our candidates had to do.
My experience as an intern led me to the decision to pursue a career at EMILY’s List, and I couldn’t be happier.
Kulsoom Jafri, Former Political Intern
State and Local Campaigns Assistant, EMILY’s List
I had been following EMILY’s List since my freshman year of college knowing that it was a perfect blend of politics and women’s empowerment. I wanted to make my last semester at GW the best yet — so I applied to this organization hoping it would give me the tools and strengthen my skillset for post-grad life.
When I was an intern, the State and Local department was still called POP — or the Political Opportunity Program. EMILY’s List helped train (and inspire) thousands of women and their staff get ready to run for office. I was ecstatic to be on a team where supervisors and fellow interns were all working toward that great goal.
One of my favorite moments from my internship was the EMILY’s List 30th Anniversary National Conference & Gala. Interns volunteered to help make the event a success. Several of my favorite people, including Elizabeth Warren, Barbara Mikulski, Kamala Harris, Uzo Aduba, and Hillary Clinton, came together and spoke at one conference. It was also a great chance for the interns to get to know one another outside of the office. I made lasting friendships and connections with women I may not have met otherwise.
In the office, EMILY’s List exposed me to various aspects of a campaign. I learned the value of finance, strength of research, and importance of comms. Even though I was in the Political department, all the other departments were open to teaching interns what their role was in the organization and how they helped our women win.
I also learned the names and platforms of Rising Star candidates at the State and Local level and felt their passion for creating change. Above all else, I realized that my work (even the smallest assignments) was contributing to these candidates actually having the opportunity to create that change.
My experience as an intern led me to the decision to pursue a career at EMILY’s List, and I couldn’t be happier.
Ellen Jacobson, former WOMEN VOTE! Intern
Deputy Research Director, Pat Quinn for Governor
Towards the end of my college career, I began to look for an internship that blended my Women’s Studies degree and my love for the political process. More than anything, I wanted to get involved in an organization that fights for women’s reproductive rights and work with people who believe what I believe. Growing up in Georgia, I was a huge blue dot in a raging red state and I felt that I wasn’t represented in Washington. This led me to EMILY’s List, where they encourage and support pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. I couldn’t believe it, an entire organization dedicated to electing women who I identify with?! I was sold.
During my time at EMILY’s List, I had the opportunity to work with the WOMEN VOTE! Department. Though I had never done political research before, I had to jump in headfirst and learn a multitude of skills quickly. I learned invaluable research skills and significant insight into how research helps inform how we connect with voters. Most of my time revolved around tracking different races around the country and researching candidates at the federal level. I became invested in the races I worked on, because I spent a significant amount of time learning about EMILY’s List candidates and how each one of them bring something different to the table. The WOMEN VOTE! team was on top of their game and I really felt like an important part of the department. My team taught me the importance of detail and how presenting information in a specific way is utilized in a campaign’s message. This has helped me tremendously in my post EMILY’s List life.
I had the opportunity to serve as one of the Deputy Research Directors on Governor Pat Quinn’s reelection campaign in Illinois. The skills I learned while at EMILY’s List gave me a significant edge. The campaign depended on me to produce a large amount of research in a short amount of time and without the tools I learned at EMILY’s List I definitely wouldn’t be able to accomplish this with a cool head. My WOMEN VOTE! internship gave me the confidence to be a skilled researcher. And it was really amazing to be knee deep in the creation of a campaign’s message. It’s a great feeling knowing I was part of a team to help reelect Governor Quinn. What I do matters.
I hope to continue to work on campaigns to elect pro-choice Democratic women. EMILY’s List not only taught me great skills, they helped mold my passion into something that I can use to continue to fight for reproductive rights, equal pay, and equal representation in Washington.
Katie Prisco-Buxbaum, former Communications Intern
Campaign Manager, Andrea Campbell for Boston City Council District 4
During my junior year, I was looking to find an internship that combined my passion for women’s rights with my interest in working in Democratic politics. EMILY’s List was the perfect fit in terms of my interests and I applied for an internship in the communications department.
I had such an amazing internship at EMILY’s List and learned so much during my time there. I developed technical skills like writing press releases, sending news clips out each morning, and further improving my research skills through long-term research projects like updating press lists. In addition, I was able to gain some insight into what was good messaging and how to stick to message through observing my supervisors in the Communications department.
Some of my most memorable moments were being in the EMILY’s List “war room” on election night to witness the historic victories for women during that election cycle and post-election day and being able to watch many EMILY’s List candidates and EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock talk about why 2012 was such a historic year for women and moving forward.
During my internship, I made life-long connections with some of my fellow interns. Through the brown bag program, where we met with members of the senior leadership team, I left with a greater understanding of how EMILY’S List as an organization worked and thrived across various departments. I was sad to leave EMILY’s List, but looked forward to heading back to Boston feeling empowered by my internship experience and passionate about the importance of electing more Democratic women.
After my EMILY’s List internship, I returned to Boston and was an intern for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, where I learned a macro-view of the Massachusetts political landscape and received the Moakley internship for that summer, which allowed me to be active in the planning and execution of the 2013 Convention. Due in part to my experiences and the skills I learned at EMILY’s List, I was later hired as Deputy Press Secretary, Intern Coordinator and Field Organizer.
Then I transitioned to working for EMILY’s List candidate Martha Coakley as the Call Time Manager for her gubernatorial race. During my time in this position, I was able to attend the prestigious EMILY’s List finance training which allowed me to return to the campaign with my fundraising skills honed and many innovative ideas other campaigns were using to boost their fundraising effectiveness.
I also serve on the Board of the Massachusetts National Organization for Women (Mass. NOW) as the Vice President of Communications, where I directly use many of the skills I developed during my EMILY’s List internship to help Mass. NOW in their mission to advance the equal status of women and girls in all aspects of their lives.
EMILY’s List has been such an integral part of my success and I highly recommend the experience to anyone with a passion for gender equity. My internship at EMILY’s List taught me a lot about professional work environments and prepped me for the work I am doing now in innumerable ways.
Fiona Cahill, former Digital Intern
Digital Director, Wisconsin Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee
As a college student, working at EMILY’s List was my dream. I’d grown up in then-Representative, now-Senator Tammy Baldwin’s congressional district, worked on behalf of EMILY’s List candidate Kathleen Falk during the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall, and voted for pro-choice Democratic women since my 18th birthday. So when I saw a posting for internships, I jumped at the chance. Shortly after my college graduation I packed up my bags and moved to DC.
Interning in the Digital Department gave me the opportunity to improve my digital skills as well as learn the inner workings of the best resource in the country for pro-choice Democratic women running for office. While my initial responsibilities were centered around social media, as I learned more I was able to begin taking on more, such as graphic design and data reports. The staff in the Digital Department as well as in other departments were incredibly supportive, more than willing to discuss their jobs and how they’d gotten to where they were, as well as give advice and teach new skills. I got to learn about email strategy, ad targeting, endorsement roll-outs, and more. I also had the chance to attend events and meet elected officials such as Rep. Gwen Moore.
Even before my internship was over, a position within the department opened up and I had the opportunity to join #TeamDigital as the Digital Assistant. This gave me even more chances to learn new skills, hone things I’d already learned, and grow as both a person and a professional. I acquired new technical abilities, practiced my graphic design skills, dipped my toes into coding, and learned from some of the best digital organizers in the business. I immersed myself even further in the mission of EMILY’s List and became invested in races I might not have paid much attention to otherwise – races like the recall of state Senator Angela Giron in Colorado, or the congressional primary in Maine which saw Emily Cain become the general election candidate.
Today, I’m the Deputy Digital Director for Mary Burke’s gubernatorial campaign. Every day I use the skills I learned in my internship, from coding emails in HTML to designing graphics to writing content, and I have every hope that I’ll be able to continue working in the digital organizing sphere for years to come. My internship at EMILY’s List opened doors I didn’t know existed and helped further me on my career path. More than that, it reaffirmed my commitment to electing pro-choice Democratic women to all levels of office – and I’m excited to continue that mission when Wisconsin elects its first-ever woman governor in November!