Abigail Blasi '24

Welcome to our 5 Things I Learned blog series, where UNH students from all colleges and majors share the UNH experience that changed everything for them and what they learned from it. From studying abroad and summer internships, to research and leadership in student organizations, follow along to see what you can learn by stepping out of your comfort zone and saying "yes" to that new opportunity on our campus.

Today, Abigail talks about interning for Senator Maggie Hassan and working as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fellow for the NH Judicial Branch. Abigail learned how public speaking can get easier with practice and that the experiences you have as a college student can shape your future career trajectory. 

Abigail Blasi '24

Political Science & Sustainability Dual Major (Business Administration Minor)

Legislative Intern for Senator Maggie Hassan 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fellow for the New Hampshire Judicial Branch 

Abigail with Maggie Hassan
Me and Senator Hassan at the end of my time as a Legislative Intern.

In the spring and summer of 2023, I had the opportunity to participate in The Washington Center Program and the UNH Small Family Community Fellowship Program. In the spring, I was a Legislative Intern for Senator Maggie Hassan in Washington, D.C. and in the summer, I was a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fellow at the New Hampshire Judicial Branch in Concord.

Here are 5 things I learned in both of these positions!


Abigail and other students
Me and my fellow NH Judicial Branch Interns at the conclusion of our internship.

1. The importance of putting myself out there

There were many times in both the programs where I had to put myself in new situations. During my time as a Senate Intern, I had to learn to give Capitol tours, and as someone who once found public speaking to be very frightening, this idea scared me a lot. As I began to give tours, it became easier and easier and many of my fears of public speaking began to fade away. This summer, my fellow Judicial Branch Interns and I volunteered to speak at the end of summer showcase to present our work. I realized how important putting yourself out there and into new situations is and what it can do for you.


Abigail presenting work on screen
Me and my fellow NH Judicial Branch Interns presenting our work to UNH faculty and Small Family Community Fellowship partners.

2. Job interview skills

As you strengthen your professional skills, many aspects of how you will interview for other jobs and internships strengthen, too. Gaining experiences that you can talk about in interviews is so helpful to your future success. During one of my internships, I had the opportunity to sit in on interviews for people who would be taking my position once I was gone. This experience was invaluable and really taught me how confidence in yourself is a huge key to success in interviews.


Washington Monument
The Washington Monument: one of the great views during my time in D.C.

3. Time management

Time management was a key thing I learned in both positions. At times, as a Judicial Branch Intern, I would have a few different projects going on at once and learning how to manage and prioritize them was so imperative to my success. Time management in a job setting differs so much from time management in school and learning that has set me up for success in the future.


Abigail with Maggie Hassan
Me and Senator Hassan at the end of my time as a Legislative Intern.

4. Skills for a professional workplace 

In both positions, I worked in very professional workplaces, which was something I’d never done before. I learned a lot about working in an office and gained professional skills, ranging from how to talk to constituents on the phone to how to write a Review for Proposal. I was able to gain skills that were different from the ones I had learned in school by using two of the programs UNH offers to expand your professional skills and network.


Abigail with statue
Me and the interns I worked with in D.C. in front of New Hampshire’s state statue of John Stark in the U.S. Capitol.

5. How to use the skills I learned for other experiences

I think one of the best things I learned was how each experience you have shapes you for the next one. I have since used everything I learned with both opportunities to drive myself forward both in school and professionally. Use every skill you develop in school, at a job or during an internship to further the goals you’ve set. Every experience you have can lead to invaluable skills.

 

learn more about The Washington Center Program

learn more about the Small Family Community Fellowship

Learn more about sustainability at UNH:

sustainability dual major

B Impact Clinic

Sustainability Institute Internships

 

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