By Eliran Hershko
The beginning of my final quarter at the University of California – San Diego, I was distressed. I had decided that I no longer desired to attend law school and was increasingly anxious that my lack of direction and a resume would leave me unemployed after graduation. Thankfully, a representative of then-California State Senator Joel Anderson came to my class to speak about Anderson’s internship program.
Instantly, my curiosity was piqued. The internship coordinator spoke about how interns are treated like staff, how flexible the program was, and how there are benefits regardless of one’s career path. This was exactly the opportunity I needed at the time. Within a few days after applying, I had an interview scheduled, and a day after my interview, I became a Legislative Intern for then-Senator Anderson.
From my experience, interns are given meaningful work, not just typical office work. I frequently went to events on behalf of Anderson, networking with San Diego’s business leaders and elected officials, and there were even opportunities to get my stories published in local papers. Anderson’s office exists to improve the lives of his constituents and every project that interns worked on helped fulfill that purpose. Opportunities were given to gain new professional skills and sharpen the skills I already had. I knew Anderson and his staff believed in me and wanted to see me succeed.
Many of Anderson’s staff are former interns themselves who excelled in the internship program. In 2017, I was fortunate to return to Team Anderson as a staff member, overseeing the constituent correspondence program and managing the day-to-day operations of the satellite office’s internship program. This role prepared me for my current position as Internship Coordinator for now-County Supervisor Joel Anderson.
To me, the role of Internship Coordinator is more than just managing the interns— my aim is to serve as a mentor, educator, and cheerleader for our interns. My duty is to train interns and instill them with confidence, so that they are empowered with as many opportunities for professional development as possible. The internship program is the backbone of Anderson’s office and each individual intern is a vital part of Team Anderson. Never once will an intern be asked to fetch coffee for a staff member.
There is no prior experience required to start as an intern with us, and if you do have experience, we can help polish your skills further. The most successful interns that have gone through the program have had a teachable spirit and a desire to unlock their limitless potential.
The internship is flexible with your schedule, and you can go at your own pace to complete the required 125-hour time commitment. After completing the internship program, you will be eligible to receive a letter of recommendation from Supervisor Joel Anderson. This recommendation will open doors for you, whether you are applying for college, looking to attend graduate school, or entering the workforce. To learn more or to apply, visit www.SupervisorJoelAnderson.com/intern.
Hershko is internship coordinator for Supervisor Joel Anderson.