Overall Intern Rating
4.6 of 5 stars (48 Ratings)

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Displaying 1-10 of 48 Intern Reviews

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Outstanding early exposure and access to the highest levels of California gov't

5.0 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | July 2015 | FORMER INTERN

Uppers

Every office and agency wants you - the Capitol Fellows are held in high regard in every office in Sacramento. Because our stipends are paid by the university, we are free, high quality labor that pretty much every office, from the Governor's Office, to the Senate President Pro Tem's Office, to every regulatory office, wants to attract. The result is we get our pick of the litter and incredible access across state government. You choose where you work - which is incredible for a fellowship. And you get to watch some very powerful people try to woo you into choosing working for them.

Instant incredible public policy network, including former fellows, current fellows (many of whom go on to stay in government), and experts brought in by the fellowship. Many of my peers have stayed in legislative offices or gone on to work in Washington (I did, after moving from the fellowship to working on a 2008 presidential campaign).

Excellent program director, Brian Aguilar, is a former fellow, a Stanford grad, and just a wicked smart dude.

Jobs post-fellowship are practically guaranteed. In my class, one fellow was immediately hired as an Assistant Secretary, while others went to CalPERS, legislative offices, Secretary of State's office, Treasurer's offices, regional offices, and the Governor's office. Some of us moved to political campaigns and to Washington.

Are you a Democrat who has no Republican friends? This fellowship will put an end to that. The group is diverse and extremely non-partisan. It's great to discuss public policy and politics honestly, at a high level, with people you like and respect, yet still disagree with. If you're an extreme partisan, you might be dislike how objective the fellowship is, as an experience and as a friendship group - regardless of who is in power at the time. For example, Republican fellows are often placed into Democratic administrations, and visa verse.

Downers

Working in government is a cultural shock, and sometimes problems seem intractable. It has its down moments.

The fellowship group is ambitious and very interested in public policy, government, and leadership. Even outside of work the discussion is nonstop. I wouldn't recommend this program to someone with a casual interest in government, or someone just looking for a job.

The pay is for survival - and it is enough to survive in Sacramento. But you won't be saving any money here.

Government is huge, and every office is different, so experiences vary wildly. Choose your assignment carefully, and manage your superiors carefully. They are important and powerful and are often do not have experience working with fresh graduates. This sometimes poses a management challenge for the program and the fellows.

Comments

This is a serious, intense, and very intellectual inside look at government. It is totally non-partisan and very type-A, public policy and future politician type folks.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Interested in politics or public policy in California? Jump start your career with the Capital Fellows Program

4.8 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

Limitless opportunities to network with the highest ranking public officials in the state.

Chance to work at an incredibly high level at an early age.

Cut through the red tape of civil service and bureaucracy.

My personal mentors were the Fair Political Practices Commission's Executive Director and Chief of Enforcement.

Downers

The pay was a little low when I first began, but in July 2014 the program announced a 30% pay increase for all of the fellows, making life in Sacramento absolutely manageable.

Advice to Potential Interns

If you like a fast-paced work environment that requires you to track politics and constantly be processing new information, and your not afraid of a learning curve, consider the fellowship or a job at the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Government Transparency and a Millenial in State Government

5.0 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

The network, the workload, and influencing policy.

Downers

The pay, but that increased this year.

Advice to Potential Interns

The fellowship leads to successful paths in all fields of work, from elected officials, to Agency leaders, to entrepreneurs.

Sample Interview Questions

What can CA do to mitigate the effects of Proposition 13?

How would you handle a situation in which you oppose your supervisor's view?

Advice to Management

None.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Get out everything you put in and more

5.0 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

Networking opportunities accross all areas of government, access to executive staff and lawmakers, networking opportunities with peers, ability to survey a wide array of government activities and departments at multiple levels including city, state, and federal. Also made very good and lasting friends in the program.

Downers

On occasion, felt babied. Fellowship staff puts a lot of time and effort into ensuring the best experience, sometimes bordering on too much structure.

Advice to Potential Interns

This prompt is worded poorly. Advice to potential interns: go out of your comfort zone and attend events you wouldn't normally attend, ask questions you wouldn't normally ask, and make as many friends as you can. It's an opportunity like no other.

Sample Interview Questions

The state is undergoing a budgetary crisis. Pension demands cannot be met. You have to tell soon-to-be-retirees their pension payouts are going to be severely cut, if not eliminated entirely. How would you approach this?



What would you change in California state government? What's an issue facing California today, and how would you go about fixing it?

Advice to Management

More emphasis on direct job placement.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Most Enriching, Educational and In-Depth Policy Fellowship

5.0 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

The best aspects were being integrated into the office of an Assemblymember and functioning essentially as a Legislative Aid for an entire legislative year and gaining access to the Capitol and its amazing network of people. The Sacramento area, particularly Government workers are very familiar and impressed with the Capitol Fellows Program and are therefore always happy to help and talk with fellows. Being a fellow opened doors and allowed me access to people, events and places that will help me professionally in the future. Good pay, cost of living in Sacramento is cheap. Great benefits.

Downers

Nothing that I can think of.

Advice to Potential Interns

Take advantage of all of the networking opportunities available.

Advice to Management

They increased the pay from $1,972/month to $2,550/month which is great -thank you!

Would You Recommend

Yes

High Energy Fellowship Prepares Future Leaders of California

4.9 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

Opportunity to expand my network, and also the skills I already possessed this Fellowship honed. Most of the Fellows were offered jobs within the year that they are here. This Fellowship really separates the good from the great, and those who have talent for a future in this industry, and develops it in those who might not be as well equipped going into the Fellowship. The networks you create here will support you in any endeavor that you choose to embark on. And it gives you a very diverse look of many different industries, so you might learn aspects of the oil industry one day, and the next you will aspects of the health industry you never knew. Basically, we interact with CEOs from many different industries, and have to be just as much of an expert as they are.

Downers

You get thrown into the mix very early, and are expected to be a sponge from the get go. If you aren't good at that, you might have a hard time, however, I found this to be the best and at times the only way to learn what I needed to in order to be prepared for a career in the Capitol.

Advice to Potential Interns

This is not just an internship. I liken it to a prestigious pre-med residency, so you should be mentally prepared that it is not going to be a walk in the park. However, it will prepare you for almost anything and everything, so by the end, you will be able to conquer a lot. Even if that means getting a job outside of the Capitol.

Sample Interview Questions

What is your view on AB 32? Do you see California as a leader in environmental law, or do you think that we can do more, if so what?

Advice to Management

Well, I would say that it is a struggle to survive on a Fellows' stipend, and that an increase in pay for next year would be beneficial.

Would You Recommend

Yes

A great balance of academic development in the area of public policy and administration and hands-on exposure to judicial administion.

4.9 of 5 stars

Riverside, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

The best aspect of the program was that it combines academic development through the graduate seminar in public policy and administration, exposure to statewide policy and application of that policy through field days in courts throughout the state, and hands-on work in the area of judicial administration through a full-time court placement.

Downers

NA NA NA NA

Advice to Potential Interns

An interest in state policy and the work of the judicial branch is essential, but the program will provide you with the historical backround information, academic foundation, and practical experience you need to develop your interests.

Sample Interview Questions

Going into the interview you should be able to explain why you are interested in the program and why your experience and interests make you a good fit for a position in judicial administration.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Fantastic program to provide mentorship to individuals looking to do public service work to benefit the lives of all Californians.

4.8 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

Mentorship and training are unparalleled.

Downers

Pay. The stipend could be more competitive.

Advice to Potential Interns

Do some research as to what working in the state capitol is like.

Advice to Management

Pay.

Would You Recommend

Yes

Capitol Fellows: Experience how it is to be a real legislative staffer.

4.9 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

The program does a great job of exposing the fellows to all aspects of the job. From speaking to members, senior staff and consultants, from the legislative branch to the executive branch and even lobbyists, the program makes sure fellows are exposed to everything. The best part, however, is how fellows are treated in the building. They are truly treated like legislative staffers. They are respected and there is a high expectation of them, however, people understand they are learning. So often times people will extend their help a little more when they are dealing with fellows.

Downers

The stipend was okay. However, it has now been significantly increased.

Advice to Potential Interns

Regardless of whether you know what you want to do with your life the Capitol Fellows Program is truly a program that develops people and enhances their network. The amount of exposure you get from this program is incredible. If you enjoy politics and/or policy this is a perfect opportunity to get a first hand look on statewide policy development and politics.

Sample Interview Questions

Can you tell us about an experience where you failed and what you did to overcome it?

If your boss asked you to staff a bill you fundamentally disagreed with what would you do and what you tell him/her?

Where do you stand on the political spectrum? And why?

Advice to Management

The stipend is paid once per month. I would have liked to get paid twice a month.

Would You Recommend

Yes

If you want to get a head start in public policy or politics this is best experience, training and networking you can hope for.

4.7 of 5 stars

Sacramento, CA | 2014 | VERIFIED INTERN

Uppers

The network you develop will forever be a value for your career. The on the job training is the best way to prepare for a legislative/policy career in California and even elsewhere. While you aren't paid much compared to the typically full time job you also get graduate school credits that can be transferred over and for me saved me about $10,000 in tuition. Amazing opportunity.

Downers

There isn't much you can complain about. A $24k salary isn't necessarily what you want walking out of college but it is well worth that year of a lower and still livable salary to gain the experience and opportunities.

Advice to Potential Interns

If you are interest in public service this is a one of a kind opportunity. Show that when you are interviewed and in your application. Why you want to make an impact and be involved in public service and public policy.

Advice to Management

It is probably about time to increase the fellow's stipend at least a little compared to cost of living. Its been a good while. Otherwise no complaints.

Would You Recommend

Yes

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