SBCC students to shadow politicians in Sacramento

Antonio Salcido, Staff Writer

Students will have the opportunity to meet and observe some of the most influential figures in California politics as part of a six day, two-unit graded internship in Sacramento this April.

The first year program is open to all students regardless of their major. The cost is $600 plus a two-credit enrollment fee, which will cover train fare, hotel and some meals. Students leave April 6, and will receive a first-hand look inside state and local governments by attending meetings, receiving tours, and having the opportunity to talk to legislators in an intimate setting.

“My goal is to show students how political science can be applied to real life by seeing politicians in action,” said Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar, chair of the political science department and director of Middle Eastern studies. “Assemblyman Das Williams was a former City College student of mine, and I want the students to realize that he was just like them years ago.”

16 students have signed up for the internship and the deadline for applications is now closed, but Eskandari hopes to offer this trip yearly.

“I was a student in Dr. Eskandari’s class and I learned a lot and it helped me get my career,” said Assemblymember Das Williams, “I want to do the same for SBCC students. … It is very rewarding, if you work really hard you can make some positive change, and that is the main goal for all of us, positive change.”

Rubbing shoulders with the men and woman who shape our state will show students the impact they can make if they choose to pursue a career in politics. Credits earned are not transferable to Universities of California, but the experience will be a stand-out addition to the students’ résumés and help give them an edge in this competitive field.

“It’s one of those opportunities you don’t get often,” said 23-year-old Mattias Nordfeldt, who is triple majoring in economics, political science and Middle Eastern studies. “I’m most interested in seeing the structure of government, although the possible connections that could be made never hurts.”

Nordfeldt plans to transfer to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, and from there, land a position in international relations for the State Department.

Some of the legislators shadowed include Santa Barbra District State Assembly Member Das Williams, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and State Senate Pro-Tempore Darrell Steinberg.

“I think that there is a lot of knowledge that you can’t necessarily get from textbooks,” said Student Senate President and political science major Geneva Sherman, “and that’s why personal experiences are so important.”

Sherman feels that the trip “will be a wonderful experience that can really benefit students who are interested in public policy and government.”

Click here to see the blog documenting the Sacramento visit.