Digital News Report – As the current Republican Leader in the California State Senate and a member of the Legislature for more than eight years, I’ve come to realize the importance and dedication of the staff who work tirelessly to make sure your needs are served as effectively as possible.
I’m often asked how an individual gets the opportunity to work for a member of the Legislature. There is no sure-fire blue print to get a position in a capitol or district office, and many people have taken different routes to going to work for a member.
There is, however, an opportunity that presents itself each year where individuals can take part in an outstanding internship program that will allow them to prepare for future careers while they actively help develop or implement public policy in California.
The Capital Fellows Program offers interns, called “fellows,” the chance to work for 10 to 11 months as a full-time staff member in a state legislative, executive, or judicial office. Fellows are typically given assignments with a significant amount of challenge and responsibility, such as analyzing legislation or regulations, communicating with groups and individuals interested in public policy, or monitoring committee or agency activity.
The program made Vault.com’s 2010 Top Ten list of high-profile internship programs, along with programs offered at Google, J.P. Morgan, KPMG, GE, and Nickelodeon Animation Studios.
Former fellows include a Justice of the California Supreme Court, members of the United States Congress and the State Legislature, corporate executives, community leaders, and many state and local government officials.
Anyone 20-years-old or older by September 1, 2011, who holds a bachelor’s degree and has an interest in state government, is eligible to apply. There are no preferred majors or political affiliations. Graduate, postgraduate, and mid-career applicants are welcome. Non-U.S. citizens must provide proof of appropriate immigration status.
This is an excellent opportunity for new graduates or others considering a career change to meet people who can help them move into a vital career. More importantly, fellows learn firsthand how the highest levels of state government operate and how public policy affects all Californians as well as businesses and industries that operate in the state.
For those disillusioned with government, the fellowship provides an education in what currently happens and perspectives on what needs change. The program’s website quotes Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
By Senator Dutton