Class of 2011
Burberry-Martin ’11, profiled here, discovered
the many benefits that come with a Praxis internship. This
year, thanks to generous recent gifts, Smith was able to
increase the the level of Praxis stipends to $2,400 for U.S.
internships and $3,500 for international internships.
When Grace Burberry-Martin ’11
sat down for the final job interview during a nerve-jangling three-hour session
at a consulting agency in Washington, D.C., she was asked a question.
“How many interns do you think work in D.C. during a given summer?”
With her answer, Burberry-Martin,
who coincidentally had recently completed a summer Praxis
internship in the city, thought she ruined the interview
and lost the job. “It wasn’t about the number – I don’t think he had a number in mind,” she
realized later, “it was about the process of how I arrived at the answer.”
Within a week, the telephone
rang with a job offer.
Now, a year after her Praxis
internship ended, Burberry-Martin will be among the newest
class of federal analysts in the area of strategy and operations
at Deloitte Consulting. The work will largely depend on her
client, but her interests lie in the operations of the nation’s defense industry.
For a 22-year-old who is passionate
about government – no
form of government more so than democracy – and knew that she wanted to major
in that subject even before she came to Smith, working with federal agencies
in the nation’s capital is a dream come true.
And, it is a dream that began
over dinner with an acquaintance as she prepared to leave
Washington at the end of her internship at the Naval Criminal
Investigative Service (NCIS).
The other woman sharing the
meal happened to work at Deloitte Consulting and, after hearing
about the experience at NCIS, thought Burberry-Martin would
enjoy the consulting work. So, that woman brought the Smith
student’s resume to her colleagues.
originally from the small town of Hopedale, Mass., had fallen
in love with Washington during that summer. She loved everything
from the city’s history to the intense
heat and the Metro, the regional transportation system in the national capital
"Internships are vitally important to help students build on their academic studies,
make decisions about their careers, and acquire the skills desired by employers
in a very competitive marketplace," said Stacie Hagenbaugh, director of the Career
Development Office, which administers the Praxis program. Approximately 400 students
per year receive Praxis stipends for summer internships.
Despite her suspicion
that she would mainly have simple tasks at NCIS, she had
been given research to pursue. NCIS had also offered its
interns the opportunity to get to know other parts of the
work realm, such as firearms training. Burberry-Martin never
suspected she’d enjoy it until after she fired a pistol, submachine gun and a 12-gauge
“Literally not a day goes by that I don’t think how fortunate I am,” she said. “A
lot of that is the connections I’ve made because of Smith.”
During her years at Smith, Burberry-Martin
has worked several jobs, served in the Student Senate, the
Student Government Association’s Curriculum Committee
and the College Judicial Board (which she now chairs).
And Burberry-Martin has
already given back to Smith by becoming the youngest member
of the Grécourt Society – a
group of alumnae and friends who have included Smith in their estate plans through
a will or a similar method. When she wrote her will, Burberry-Martin designated
10 percent of her savings to Smith and, specifically, the Praxis internship program.
At commencement, Burberry-Martin
will wear the Grécourt Society pin on her robe.
At least six members of her family and her boyfriend, Sean, an engineer in New
Hampshire, will be watching.
From now on, Burberry-Martin
said, all the birthday presents that she gives family and
friends will be airplane tickets to visit her in Washington.
Because, when she returns to
the city next time, Burberry-Martin will no longer be an
intern, but a federal analyst.