This summer Emma Zanazzi ’15, a women’s studies major, is getting involved in some of the issues most important to her. Through funding from the Kirkland Endowment, she is interning with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (MWPC), a non-profit organization that works to endorse female candidates in political campaigns and elections.
As an intern, Zanazzi is conducting candidate research, working on event planning, helping with daily office tasks, and posting information on social media sites. Each intern also works on one Massachusetts political campaign, and Zanazzi is working on Ayanna Pressley’s city council at-large election.
Zanazzi knew that she wanted to work with a women’s organization this summer. In her women’s studies classes, she has studied women’s issues, both domestically and globally, extensively. She recently wrote a paper about sexism against Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign, and this sparked her interest in women in politics. Zanazzi found an internship with the MWPC to be an ideal avenue to further explore that interest. She explained that she “really wanted to be active in supporting the issues that I am passionate about. This seemed like the perfect way to start on that journey.”
Zanazzi has already found that her internship has a lot to teach her, and she hopes she might be able to use what she learns in a future career. Although she doesn’t believe she will ultimately go on to work on the elections, she values the opportunity to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of politics. She remarked, “There is so much that goes into a campaign that we don't realize!” She is also looking at the broader implications of campaign work for gender issues., “My hope is to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which the gender leadership gap can be narrowed through activism and non-profit work,” Zanazzi added. She will present a paper on these themes on campus next spring.
The connections that she is making during her internship are also likely to prove valuable as Zanazzi moves forward. She hopes that she’ll be able to draw on those relationships if she begins a career in the non-profit sector. Building on her internship experience, Zanazzi will be able to continue working with causes that matter to her and continue promoting women’s rights.
Zanazzi is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.