SBCC political science internship takes students to Sacramento

SOPHIE ZARA, Channels Staff

For the fourth consecutive year, City College students have the opportunity to go on a field trip in Sacramento to shadow California legislators, lobbyists, the governor and more.

The City College Sacramento Internship program, which will span from April 2 to April 8, is a 2-unit graded course that allows students the chance to go behind the scenes into California’s policy-making system.

“I recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in how California works,” said Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar, chair of the political science and economics departments. “People think this is only for political scientists and it’s not. It’s for any student that lives in California and is interested in concerning issues such as water, education, and homelessness.”

Students attending the trip will meet Gov. Jerry Brown, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-19th District, and former City College student and Assemblyman Das Williams, D-37th District. Attendees will also meet with a variety of lobbyists and the Attorney General’s staff.

Eskandari said meeting with recently appointed Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon was a highlight of last year’s trip.

“He warmly welcomed us into his office and took time to answer questions,” he said.

The program is specifically designed to emulate a hands-on class. Each student must choose a policy area in which they are interested and ask questions when the opportunity arises. Students will have morning and afternoon activities and are expected to take notes to help prepare them for the required 15 to 20-page paper at the end of the program.

Students will spend time in senate and assembly meetings, listening to various issue-focused committees and meeting powerful executives.

“This is the kind of trip that looks good on a resume,” said Ruqayya Mansour, second-year political science major. “After college I want to work with kids in impoverished situations and this will give me some of that needed social experience.”

During the 2013 trip, ten students were offered internships for the Democratic Convention.

The requirements to attend the trip are a minimum 3.2 grade point average and an interview with Eskandari-Qajar. The program costs $750, which covers travel, lodging, all breakfast meals and two dinners.

“Students must have professional behavior, a professional demeanor and the proper attire for the days we are there,” said Eskandari. “There has to be a willingness to be a team player and to learn.”

The deadline to apply is February 26. Applications can be found in Professor Eskandari’s office, in the Interdisciplinary Center Room 352.

The group will also run a blog whilst on the trip to provide public updates.