Kabir Thatte ’16, knows the value of internships. Although he is only finishing up his sophomore year at UMass, he has already interned with Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Joe Kennedy for Congress, the Town of Medfield, and, most recently, the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.
“Internships are gateways into the true experience of working a job,” he says. “They are a win-win situation. You have the opportunity to receive credits while simultaneously building professional skill sets.”
But they can also be difficult to manage. “Since I attend a state school, I know how distressing finances can be for a student,” Thatte says. “Internships are no cheap options... But the money invested into funding such an internship is just that: an investment.”
Internships provide unique opportunities for students to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real-world, to hone workplace skills, and to open doors for other professional opportunities.
Since working at the Treasury, for instance, Thatte has had the unique opportunity to network with some of our country’s political elites. He has even attended a reception at the White House by invitation of President Obama and the First Lady.
“I had the pleasure of attending a White House reception for the President of France, Francois Hollande,” says Thatte. “I was so giddy the morning of the event that I almost forgot to put on a suit before I left my house!”
Thatte describes that reception in grand terms – recalling a military band playing the French National Anthem, as well as the Star Spangled Banner, and a “humorous and inspiring speech” by President Obama about the country’s alliance and friendship with France. “While I didn't have the chance to personally speak with the President,” Thatte says, “I'm definitely not ruling that option out in the future.”
Indeed, Thatte will remain in Washington through the end of the Spring semester, so he has several weeks left to attain that goal. However, even if he leaves DC without a conversation with the President, he takes pride in knowing he will leave the city with very demonstrable skills and experiences for his resume.
“The internship has definitely allowed me some perspective,” he says. “I have always been very academically oriented and focused on tasks at hand, often having trouble multitasking. But through internships, I have picked up several skills that allow me to grow into a different role as a student and professional.”
As a Treasury Intern, for instance, Thatte serves as a direct part of Secretary Jack Lew’s front office staff. The position has taught him how to pay strict attention to detail, whether by managing a daily agenda or by building briefing books for the Secretary.
“Every single day of being in the Treasury, I feel that I am making a visible difference,” he says. “That in and of itself gives me confidence and makes me proud to serve in the position that I do.”
He also knows the experience is laying a foundation for a successful professional future: “Ultimately, internships are a great way to showcase your talents to extraordinary people who will either give you a fantastic recommendation or remember you when a future position is available,” he says. “The overall importance of practical experience can never be overstated.”
Photo: Kabir Thatte ’16 at the reception for President Hollande of France, hosted by President Obama at the White House
- Student News