One of the most popular and rewarding programs at Cal is called Cal in the Capital, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the program this past year.
Once I was admitted into this program after applying and going through an interview process, I took the DeCal spring semester of 2018. The DeCal largely helped us prepare our applications and make our resumes, cover letters, and Linked Ins the best they could possibly be. The facilitators also helped us prepare for a summer in Washington D.C. with things to do, what to wear, and how to plan financially. The expectation of applying to over twenty possible internships definitely motivated me, and eventually led to me getting the opportunity to intern for the United States Senate with the Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein.
This opportunity was one of the things I am most thankful for experiencing in my life. Two months of being at the capital taught me so much; I gained a greater understanding of Senator Feinstein’s policy preferences, I witnessed firsthand how she interacts with constituents and policymakers, and most importantly I learned how to give a tour of the Capital of the United States (considering my job back at Cal, I was pretty excited about this aspect of the job). I got to assist the Press Team with press inquiries and with assembling the Senator’s daily afternoon clips packet with all of the relevant California and national news that she would flip through during various briefings.
Further, I had the opportunity to attend whatever briefing and hearing I desired to go to, as well as walking through the staff entrance to the Senate Floor. The amount of Senators I rode in the elevator with and saw speak on the Floor never failed to make me cry tears of happiness.
Outside of the Hart Senate Building were memories just as incredible as the ones made inside. Whether it was playing in the Senate Softball League (our team name was Never Say Di), going to over a dozen museums, or going for a run to the Washington Monument and back, there was not a single thing about my summer in D.C. that I could complain about.
I am so thankful for the opportunity that Cal in the Capital gave me. I will never forget the summer of 2018: the people I met, the places I visited, and the political excitement that I experienced. Make sure to vote in the midterm elections!!