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Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership

Careers in Public Service

The Weissman Center, together with our campus partners, sponsors trips each year for students who are interested in careers in public service. The site visits feature MHC alumnae who are inspiring examples of success to our students in the fields of politics, policy, advocacy, and government, and whose work spans local initiatives to global world affairs.

Spring 2020 Site Visit to Washington D.C.

March 12-13, 2020 (Thursday/Friday)

Applications are now closed.

This exciting 2-day FREE trip to Washington D.C. will include an evening alumnae reception, alumnae panel presentations, and a VIP alumnae luncheon at the National Press Club with keynote speaker Naomi Barry-Pérez ’95 who serves as the director of the Civil Rights Center at the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Barry-Pérez we will also give us an exclusive guided tour of the exhibit on Frances Perkins, class of 1902, who was the first woman appointed to a U.S. cabinet position as Secretary of Labor and the driving force behind Social Security and the New Deal.

The trip is open to seniors, juniors, and sophomores with an interest in social change through politics, policy, law, advocacy, leadership, running for public office, etc. The trip is FREE and includes lodging, meals in D.C., and roundtrip transportation on a comfortable chartered bus. This trip is a partnership of the Office of the Dean of Faculty, the Alumnae Association, the Office of Advancement, and the Career Development Center.

If you have any questions, please contact Janet Lansberry, Director of Leadership and Public Service at the Weissman Center for Leadership.

‘Careers in Public Service’ is modeled after the MHC student delegation to the launch of the Women in Public Service Project in 2011, an initiative spearheaded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the sister schools to encourage more women to enter careers in public service. Since then, we have learned that site visits for students are life changing. Students return with enthusiasm and a focused zeal to work in politics, policy, advocacy, and government. They gain valuable insights, tips, and knowledge about what a path in public service might look like, and how to go about crafting a future. Site visits deliberately emphasize a wide range of careers and open students’ horizons to fields and new possibilities. Discussions with alumnae complement the classroom experience and put a practical lens on the future. In fact, a student who returned recently from a site visit remarked, “It is one thing to discuss issues in class from a theoretical perspective, but actually meeting with and learning from accomplished alumnae in a professional setting was unlike anything I have ever experienced before.”

Careers in Public Service in Washington, D.C., in 2019 Post Panel

2019: Washington, D.C.

Forty students met with early/mid-career, and senior level alumnae in public service careers.
Photo of a group of students on a site visit to Washington, D.C.

2017: Washington, D.C.

Students were introduced to MHC alumnae working in diverse fields of public policy as well as environmental policy and international affairs.
Photo of a group of students and alumnae during a site visit to New York City

2016: New York City

Twenty-four students attended Careers in Public Service at the Ford Foundation to meet MHC alumnae who are working for the government at all levels.

2015: Boston Massachusetts

Our visit included a VIP alumnae luncheon, alumnae panel presentations, a tour of the State House or visit to a Senate session, and networking dinner
Photo of a group of students on a site visit to Washington, D.C.

2014: Washington D.C.

Twenty-four Mount Holyoke students traveled to Washington D.C. over spring break to learn about careers in public service from esteemed MHC alumnae.
Photo of a group of students on a site visit to Albany, New York

2013: Albany, New York

Twenty-seven Mount Holyoke College students participated in an all-day visit to Albany to hear from women in appointed government positions.