Cal-in-Sacramento’s new Student Director Kena Patel
Last year around this time Kena Patel was busy with midterms, and preparing her application for the Matsui Center’s Cal-in-Sacramento program. This year, she's on the other side of process—advocating for undergraduates to apply for the program.
"I really, really enjoyed my internship," said Patel. "I got to do things that I wasn’t expecting."
Patel landed her summer internship at the Department of Justice, in the e-crime unit. "We deal with white collar crime," she said, "Mainly focused on technological crime."
Over the summer, Patel helped her supervisor prepare information for a pending trial, and she assisted the Secret Service with a project involving facial recognition. Overall, Patel said the experience was "amazing."
Cal-in-Sacramento is a long-standing undergraduate internship run out of the Matsui Center at IGS. Those accepted to the program—around 20 annually—take a class in the spring with former state Senators Dick Ackerman and Elizabeth Figueroa and then go to Sacramento for eight weeks during the summer to work in the Capital. Housing costs are paid for by the Matsui Center, and stipends are available for those in need.
The application period is open until November 13.
For those thinking about applying, Patel said there is one important factor to consider. "Primarily the best thing is just to have an interest in politics," she said. Everything else will fall into place.