Week 1: First Month of Internship

Internship: California Grocers’ Association

Tell us about your first month of internship. What goals have you established for yourself and what progress have you made so far in your professional growth as an intern?

From the moment I started with the California Grocers Association (CGA), I knew that I had landed a unique opportunity. The staff at CGA immediately stressed to me the importance of learning the “legislative process”- something that at the time I had only learned about in school, but have now experienced firsthand. To be honest, I was pretty nervous about being CGA’s first intern, but on my first day I was immediately exposed to the realities of working in government relations. I sat in on a legislative strategy meeting, a stakeholder meeting in the Governor’s Office, and attended a hearing at City Hall.

From what I have gained thus far, what I appreciate most about the Grocers is how they have helped open my eyes to whole new perspective. Before CGA I never knew how many different trade associations existed and how each could influence public policy. I like most people, took grocery stores for granted. Being here has taught me just how fundamentally important grocery stores are to every community and how challenging it is to keep them up and running given the difficult regulatory environment. The Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program, pharmaceutical concerns, the rising cost of healthcare and bag ordinances are just a few of the topics that I have been exposed to this summer.

As far as the work goes, I have had the opportunity to draft floor alerts, sit in on meetings with legislators both in-district and at the Capitol, legislative research, as well as work with the CGA Educational Foundation as they grant scholarships, fundraise, host webinars, and so much more. I have experienced legislative victory and defeat and have emerged more knowledgeable, grounded, and with better understanding that it takes patience and determination to be successful in this business.

My experience with CGA has allowed me to develop a holistic view of the legislative process while also giving much more meaning to my future. Already I have come to appreciate the many people I have met and worked with and the experiences I have gathered. This August I will be a senior at USF. Come graduation this spring, I am more confident than ever that politics was the correct major for me and to have that sort of confidence amidst the loans and low hiring rates right now feels wonderful—I have the folks at CGA to thank for that.

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