MaryRose Mazzola ’12, Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council
“My time at Merrimack College taught me what a privilege my education was and encouraged me to always make time to give back to my community, no matter how busy or stressed I was.”
Raised in a political family, MaryRose started her natural track in social policy by working on campaigns in high school. As a freshman at Merrimack, she discovered an importance for public policy after working at a shelter for battered teenaged mothers. This experience deepened her interest in fighting domestic violence, leading her to take an internship with the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators.
MaryRose became proactive in her experiential learning, landing an internship with the National Foundation for Women Legislators in Washington, D.C., working with the press office for Senator John Kerry, and researching housing policies at a local law firm.
“These opportunities taught me how complex and important good public policy is, and they also provided me with real world experience for after graduation.”
As a senior, MaryRose worked as a Campaign Manager for State Senator Barry Finegold, and she continued in that role after graduation. She remained in Finegold’s campaign party serving as a Legislative and Press Aide, and then as a Political Director throughout his election career.
“My internships at the Massachusetts State House and on Capitol Hill helped prepare me for these roles, since I had already experienced the legislative and budgetary processes and had some experience interacting with the press.”
MaryRose then decided to pursue graduate school, receiving a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University. She sustained a career in campaign management until 2016 and now serves as the Executive Director of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council.
How did your experience at Merrimack help you as a professional?
I learned how to balance my professional and personal life, as a student who also worked full-time. Merrimack provided the flexibility and support to make this possible. My time at Merrimack College taught me what a privilege my education was and encouraged me to always make time to give back to my community, no matter how busy or stressed I was.
What is the best advice you could give current Merrimack students?
Network! Take advantage of Merrimack’s proximity to Boston and the close-knit group of alumni in the area, and schedule as many informational interviews as possible. Ask to get coffee with people you admire or whose jobs you’re interested in having one day, and ask them how they got to where they are now. Internships and off-campus jobs are key as well. They show employers that you can succeed in a real-world setting, and I think they made a huge difference in ensuring I had a job when I graduated and helped me get into my top choice for grad school.
Why are you Merrimack Proud?
I’m Merrimack Proud because of the community that Merrimack provides. I’ve lived in different countries and cities, but to this day, visiting Merrimack still feels like home. My best friends today are the people I met at Merrimack, and I know we’ll always be there for one another.