College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Apply for the 2016-2017 Panetta Internship!

The Panetta Institute Congressional Internship in Washington, D.C., which hosts students from mid-August through mid-November, is an opportunity for students to see Congress in action and earn up to 20 university credits. Travel to and from Washington, D.C., along with housing expenses and a stipend, will also be covered by the program.

The program begins with an intensive two-week training session, which allows interns to attend lectures led by experts from diverse disciplines and to participate in a broad range of political discussions. Once training is complete, each student intern is assigned to work in the Capitol Hill office for a member of the California Congressional Delegation.

The Congressional Internship Program is a unique opportunity for 26 select students, from the twenty-three CSU campuses, along with the Dominican University of California, Saint Mary’s College of California and Santa Clara University, to experience the legislative process in Washington, D.C., while developing career-related skills and expanding their professional networks.

In 2013-2014, the Department of Political Science sent majors Bryce Brady and Kaitlin Ward to the Panetta Program. In 2015-2016, Nafisa Ahmed and Mary Ashley Cherney were selected as Panetta Interns: 

"The internship dramatically altered the course of my life. I did not think someone from my background would stand a chance in Washington, D.C. My internship experience demonstrated otherwise. Before the internship, I almost did not apply because I was too terrified of the magnitude of possibilities Panetta had for me. What if I was not good enough? However,  I talked face-to-face with many important political officials such as Congressional Members, former cabinet members and vice presidents, and even the House Parliamentarian; Tom Wickham. Additionally, during an office transition, I stepped up and was able to be the interim scheduler for my Congressman. I worked for Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-36). Through these experiences, I was able to make a strong network filled with individuals who will help me accomplish my dreams. Most importantly, I learned that I am more than capable to accomplish those dreams; I learned to believe in myself." -Mary Ashley Cherney, Class of 2016

"I interned for Congressman Mike Thompson of the 5th district. Working for the House of Representatives was the best experience I ever had. It was a surreal experience living and working in one of the most powerful cities in the world. Average Americans can only read about or watch the news, however Panetta Interns get to experience the news firsthand in front of their eyes. One of the experiences I will personally never forget is getting watch the election of the Speaker of the House who is third in line for the presidency and one of the most powerful people in the nation. This internship helped me and would help any future intern grow both professionally and personally. The months we spent in DC challenged every basic notion I had about how things worked. What most people take for granted is how much politics affect our daily lives, from the water you drink to the quality of education you receive, politics plays a large role in the definition of everything. The immense amount of detail that goes into the control of our everyday lives happens in DC, and it was a privilege to be a part of the experience. Students looking to apply for the internship should have an open mind about what they would expect to learn in D.C. Politics, America, and the world in ever changing, steadfast beliefs would only inhibit one from getting to make the most out of an experience." -Nafisa Ahmed, Class of 2016

The Panetta Intern Program

To apply for the Panetta Internship, the following is required:

  • Junior or Senior standing from any major
  • 3.0 GPA or higher in college course work
  • A Completed Application
  • A Letter explaining why you want to be part of the program.
  • A resumé.
  • A graded essay — at least 3 pages long, with instructor comments — that exemplifies your analytical skills and writing abilities.
  • The names of two faculty references who will endorse your application — we will contact the faculty members and ask for a letter or e-mailed reference.

Applications are due by: Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Submit Completed Application Packages to the C.L.A.S.S. Dean's Office in Buillding 5, room 158.

For further information about the program, please contact Dr. Sara Garver at: .