Pursuing politics in Sen. Pan’s office

David Beilby, Guest Writer

I was lucky enough to intern with Senator Richard Pan in his Senatorial Office at the State Capitol. Senator Pan is responsible for District 6, which includes residents of Sacramento and stretches into some of Davis, Elk Grove, and Natomas- more than a million constituents.

I was hired on as a summer intern mainly due to it being a requirement of the third year of the Civitas program here at Rio; however, I was also hoping to gain some valuable work experience and an insight to actual congressional proceedings. I began the first week of summer and worked Mondays and Tuesdays from 9-5.

I was super intimidated and nervous the very first day of my internship. The thought of working in the Capitol made me feel so cool and driven, but I was very scared to walk my way up to the State Senator and say, “Hello Dr. Pan, I’m sure you have no idea who I am but I am the new intern who will be disrupting things in your office for the duration of summer,”. However, I had very quickly proven myself as hard working and a responsible addition to the team. My motto was this, “intern today, everyone else’s boss tomorrow.” Fake it ‘till you make it will get you anywhere in life, if you apply some actual knowledge and confidence as well.

While some of my internship was comprised of the expected office work, (filing, phoning, greeting- the boring stuff), I was also afforded the opportunity to collaborate with the legislatives aides in the office on upcoming bills and proposals, as well as the chance to sit on the Senate floor if there was ever a particular issue that I had an interest in.

I made daily rounds: getting the mail from the basement, checking any voicemails or constituent commentary, and making sure the other interns, who were hired several weeks after I was, had jobs to keep themselves busy with, (it’s safe to say I was running the show).

Looking back, I am proud of myself for having gone outside of my comfort zone and made professional and meaningful relationships with the others in my office.