SBCC internship program will take students to state capital

Photo+courtesy+of+Joan+Galvan%2C+public+information+officer+for+City+College%2C+Friday%2C+March+20%2C+on+West+Campus.

Joan Galvan

Photo courtesy of Joan Galvan, public information officer for City College, Friday, March 20, on West Campus.

BEN NG, Channels contributor

For the third year in a row City College students will shadow prominent political figures on an annual field trip to Sacramento immediately following spring break.

The City College Sacramento Internship program, which takes place from April 4 to April 10, will take students to Sacramento to learn about local politics, the state department, and international diplomacy. Participating students can earn two transferrable units.

“Taking students to Sacramento for hands-on experience is the best way for them to learn about their government,” said Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar, chair of the political science and economics departments and director of Middle Eastern studies. “Besides valuable experience, students will also be filling their resumes with an important opportunity.”

This year the program consists of 30 students. The only requirement for the program is to have at least a 3.2 GPA. It will cost students $675, which includes hotel costs, train tickets, and two dinners.

Students will have a chance to meet Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Santa Barbara District State Assembly Member and former student of Dr. Eskandari, Das Williams, as well as the Attorney General’s staff and various lobbyists.

“I have been on the trip once before and had a marvelous time,” said second-year political science major Adam Bernberg. “There is no bias as to what we see and we are able to witness opinions from both sides… we are truly exposed to nearly every aspect of the state level political arena.”

The entire trip will take place over six days, two of which will be devoted to traveling. The other four days will have students visiting the State Assembly, the Senate, the Attorney General’s office and talking to lobbyists.

The program offers more than just knowledge and experience. Students are often offered internships and job opportunities. On the 2013 trip, ten students were offered internships for the Democratic Convention.

“My favorite part of the trip is just genuinely the connections we make and how much you learn hands-on about what goes on in state-level politics,” said Desiree Sulzmann, a political science major looking to specialize in civil law. “Because of this program I was offered a paid internship from students first and also was a paid intern for Das Williams and Lois Capps during the 2014 election.”

Sulzmann plans to transfer to UC Berkeley and eventually pursue her dream of going into politics at a higher level.

In order to receive the two transferrable units, participating students will have to write a 15 to 20-page paper. The paper will focus on a policy issue that the politicians are facing right now, general daily experience, and making comparisons between the California and National systems. Dr. Eskandari said that his most memorable moments from the program include “students suddenly opening up, very quiet students who show their unexpected sides and become capable leaders. And the friendships that the whole group develops.”

The group will also be keeping a blog describing their daily experiences in Sacramento.