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Fortier-Brown named Cohen Group political science internship recipient

Adam Fortier-Brown will be the first University of Maine student participating in the Cohen Group Internship offered by the William S. Cohen Institute for Leadership and Public Service at UMaine this spring. The internship, which provides students with the opportunity to work in a private-sector firm in Washington D.C., runs from January to May and coincides with UMaine’s spring semester.

The Cohen Group, headquartered in Washington, D.C., was formed by former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen to “Provide corporate leadership with strategic advice and practical assistance in business development, market entry, regulatory affairs, and deal sourcing from strategy conception to successful closing,” according to the organization’s website.

Richard Powell, director of the Cohen Institute and a professor of political science described this internship as an opportunity similar to the Political Science Department’s Madigan Congressional Internship Program, where students are paid for a full semester’s work in the Washington D.C. congressional offices.

“Our internships provide an outstanding way for students to get experience working in professional environments in Washington,” Powell said. “This gives students an opportunity to hone their professional skills in the fast-paced world of policy making in the nation’s capital. Many of [their] interns continue on to successful careers in politics and public policy.”

Fortier-Brown, a fourth-year economics and political science student at UMaine previously served as a Madigan congressional intern.

“My experience in Senator Collins’ office prepared me to work in a fast paced, professional, and dynamic office,” Fortier-Brown said. “Without it, I do not think that I would have been placed at, nor adequately prepared for work at The Cohen Group.”

Fortier-Brown believes an internship is one of the most important opportunities for undergraduate students at UMaine.

The Career Center provides an online internship guide which can help students select internships as well as hosts the annual campus-wide Career Fair, which will be held on Feb. 6 this year. With 170 employers expected to attend as of late January, Crisanne Blackie, the director of the Career Center, says that over half are searching for interns.

The application process for the Cohen internship is highly competitive.

“We are looking for students with outstanding grades, experience in professional settings, and with excellent oral and written communications skills,” Powell said. “Students should also have a demonstrated experience in public affairs.”

In order to prepare to apply for internships like the Cohen Group Internship, Fortier-Brown said students should take challenging writing classes. Powell added that students should have a solid background in political science and leadership.

“You will be working with some really important people who have helped shape the modern world,” Fortier-Brown said.

For more information on the Cohen Internship Program please visit UMaine’s website Cohen Institute for Leadership and Public Service or contact For more information on internships offered at UMaine please contact the Career Center.

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