Student Spotlight: Dana Alpert
Name: Dana Alpert
Year: Junior, Class of 2019
Major: Political Science, Double Minor in Public Policy and Political Economy
Hometown: Templeton, CA
Service Placement: Intern in State Senator Steve Glazer's Office
Fun fact/quote: I'm proficient in ASL (American Sign Language)!
What sparked your interest in public service?
I see so much potential for positive, tangible change in public service. As cliché as it may sound, I genuinely enjoy helping others and I do believe that working in the public service sector allows you to make a real difference in your communities.
What are some of the strengths of the Cal-in-Sacramento program?
The program is extremely financially accessible, with free housing and free transportation, which means that it is a much more accessible option for people with a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. Another strength of the program is that working in state government allows for a lot more hands-on involvement in public policy. I had so many opportunities to meet directly with other public officials and host meetings with lobbyists because state government is a lot smaller and more personal with constituents than say, federal government for instance.
What was the most significant aspect of your internship experience?
The most significant aspect for me was working on a specific bill in which I had the chance to directly report to the Senator and meet with organizations and other government staff related to the bill. That was when I really felt that tangible change that I had hoped for! That's also when I knew I was pursuing the right career.
What resources do students need to take advantage of here in Cal?
Internship/travel opportunities! There are so many!! Whether it's Cal in the Capital, UCDC, Alternative Breaks, Global Internship Program, or Cal-in-Sacramento... anything that allows you to develop your professional interests while also giving you the chance to go abroad in any way is an amazing, potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What does public service mean to you?
Public service means taking the resources and influence given to you a position to which you have been appointed or elected and using those things to leave a community better than when you entered it and to serve the people of that community to the best of your ability.
What are your next steps/future goals?
I plan on pursuing the California State Senate Fellows Program immediately after graduation and then going into the Peace Corps. After that, I plan on going to law school. After that... I'm not sure! I have vested interests in both global diplomacy and state politics. All I know is that I have so many opportunities ahead of me to pursue and I am excited to see where life takes me!