UC Davis Today: California Capi8tol internships that cultivate future leaders

A woman and a man leaning on a staircase rail at the Caliofrnia State Capitol with ornate lamps and an old painting in the background

Capitol internships: Cultivating future leaders

Connecting to the Capitol

Legs standing on the California Seal at the State Capitol

Video by Paul Pfotenhauer and Ken Zukin
(1 min 47 sec)

Students Alfredo Arredondo and Erika Menjivar are enthusiastic about their experiences interning in the state Legislature this quarter, thanks to a UC Center Sacramento program that bridges campus life and the career world. 

Arredondo, an anthropology major interning for Assemblymember Mark Stone, D-Monterey Bay, explained: “Seeing firsthand how bills are formulated and proposed while at the same being engaged with the diverse stakeholders for every issue has been exciting.”

Arredondo noted that his “front-row seat to the legislative process” has given him a “sense of purpose” in dealing with the issues facing California. After graduation, he plans to earn a master’s degree in public policy. 

Menjivar, who is interning for state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, said she sought the internship to better understand how the political process of the Legislature actually works.

“The public often believes,” said Menjivar, a political science major, “that the state government does not do much to represent its constituents. I can honestly debunk that myth — state senators and their staff put in a lot of work every day.” 

She has attended many committee meetings, listened to constituent concerns and learned that there is “a lot of preparation” that goes into creating or passing a bill. Menjivar hopes to work as a staffer in the Legislature after graduating from UC Davis.

Menjivar and Arredondo are interning in the UC Center Sacramento public policy internship program; the center also offers a summer journalism program. All UC students are eligible to apply to either.

Beyond this program, UC Davis’ Internship and Career Center provides tools and resources to students seeking internships, career planning, employment searches, resumes and interview tips. Each year, more than 5,000 UC Davis students participate in internships with businesses, schools, government and organizations. 

UC Davis students Erika Menjivar, a political science major (left), and Alfredo Arredondo, an anthropology major, are working at the California State Capitol through the public policy internship program. Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo

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