Women’s and Gender Studies majors generally satisfy the Internship/Field Work requirement through taking the six-credit internship course, WGS 490/491, in the junior or senior year. For this course, students work on a volunteer basis for ten to fifteen hours per week during the semester in a supervised field placement (Total of 150 hours), generally in an agency dedicated in some way to activism or service on behalf of women, such as a women’s shelter, health clinic, publication, or advocacy group. Simultaneously, students meet in a weekly seminar to discuss the progress of the intern work, evaluate field learning, and to examine topics such as the ideology and structure of the helping professions, human services and social change, dynamics issues in feminist non-profit organizations, and applications of feminist theory of social change in real-world organizational settings.
Internship placements can be very rewarding learning experiences in themselves, and even when problems occur with the placement, valuable lessons emerge and students receive support from the seminar problem-solving discussions. Often our graduates have the opportunity of continuing paid employment with the same agency in which they interned in their senior year.
Recent internship placements include:
- MA State Police Detective Special Victims Homicide Unit. Witness and Family Advocates Office. (Counseling and legal advocacy)
- Institute for Learning & Teaching, UMB. Talented & Gifted (TAG) & ALERTA Latino education after-school Programs. (Research about Latino education and youth programming)
- Y 2 Y, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. (Homeless youth and LGBTQ youth programing)
- St. Mary’s Infants & Children’s Center. Dorchester, MA 02125. (homeless women & children)
- Action for Boston Community Development, Malden, MA. (immigrant children’s early childhood development)
- Boston Public Schools, Partners in Sex Education. Dorchester, MA. (young women’s health education)
- East Boston Ecumenical Council (EBECC). East Boston, MA. (immigrant community organizing, youth organizing, land use and human rights)
- Dominican Development Center. Jamaica Plain, MA. (Immigrant women’s empowerment)
- Hyde Square Task Force (youth leadership, community organizing), Jamaica Plain
- Immigrant Learning Center, Malden (citizenship, immigrant native literacy and
- Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defense (GLAD), Boston, MA. (legal advocacy)
- South Shore Women's Resource Center (nonprofit, community-based domestic violence program, Plymouth
- Cambridge Women’s Center, Cambridge, Ma (hotlines, workshops, resource center)
- Center on Gender, Security and Human Rights, UMB (research and policy, human rights, NGO’s, international development)
- Queer Student Center, UMB (LGBTQ rights)
- Just a Start Home, Brighton, MA (pregnant teenagers and homeless shelter)
- Julie's Family Learning Program, South Boston (family, literacy, life skills, health literacy)
- Project Hope (homeless shelter for women and children, programming to move out of poverty), Roxbury, MA.
- Research/Teaching Assistants for WGS Professors
- Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)—(human rights, immigrant rights, and public policy)
- Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, UMass Boston (research and public policy)
- Amal Women’s Shelter, Roxbury ICNA Relief USA (homeless women and Muslim communities)
- Mujeres Unidas en Avanzando (preparing Latinas for college and employment), Dorchester, MA
- HAWC (healing abuse working for change), Lynn (domestic violence vs immigrant women).
- WAITT House Inc. Roxbury, MA (immigrant women’s education and health literacy)
- Strong Women, Strong Girls, Boston (young women’s mentoring, tutoring, leadership development)
- Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy (research, community organizing and public policy)
- City Life/Vida Urbana, Jamaica Plain (affordable housing advocacy; housing is a human right)
What do our students have to say about their internships?
"As a student, it's easy to get caught up in the academia of whatever you are passionate about. This internship is really fantastic because it serves as a daily reminder that what you are learning about has real-life applications."
- Michelle Chouinard, Interned at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy
"Having the opportunity to put into context what's being learned in the classroom with the other world is amazing."
- Lizmarie Peralta, Interned at the STEM Program, Northern Essex Community College
"I've learned so much in my internship. It has given me the opportunity to apply what I've learned in WGS to the real world."
- Amy Epperhart, Interned as a Research Assistant to Professor Chris Bobel of WGS at UMass Boston
"I love being able to apply the skills I have acquired in my WGS major at an internship site. It's been such a rewarding experience to see how much I have taken from all my WGS classes and to apply these skills in a work setting. I feel more prepared for my life after college thanks to this experience."
- Anny Rodriguez, Interned at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy
"As someone who has been in the country for a short period of time and has few connections and experience, this internship has been a great opportunity for me to essentially get my foot in the door and one step closer to a future career that I am truly passionate about. It has been a wonderful learning experience and extremely rewarding!"
- Hella Dijesselbloem-Giron, Interned at Mujeres Unidas Avanzando
"What I like most about my internship is that I get to work with young girls like me, who are interested in STEM. Watching the girls grow and involve themselves in the experiments."
- Dina Beauchamp, Interned at the Science Club for Girls
"My internship has allowed me to gain experience working with research methods I had learned in Lorna's class last semester. It's been great applying what I learned. Everyone should do an internship because it will challenge you in new ways that course work can't."
- Dina Fico, Interned at the Dana Farber Cancer Center