Internship: Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
How is your host internship site organized in terms of teams, departments, or divisions? What is your office environment like, and how does the office structure contribute to effectively delivering services or accomplishing its agency mission?
During my summer internship experience with the USF McCarthy Fellows I have been lucky enough to be placed at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz), specifically in the International Affairs and Economic Development Unit. Even though their name is very long, what Go-Biz does can be described in a very succinct way: their job is to help grow business in California, in any way possible. Go-Biz was established almost two years ago by Governor Jerry Brown and his goal was to create one, single office to be the reference point for all-things-business in California. Before the Governor’s initiative to create the office, companies had to go through multiple agencies all over the state to get even the simplest of things done.
Because Go-Biz is the center of business on the government side of California, it has to perform a pretty vast array of tasks. Correspondingly, our office has a unit for most of the tasks we perform. There is a unit that we call Cal-Biz, which handles all business development ventures from in-state companies; a unit called Permits, which streamlines all the various permitting processes that go along with business growth; there is my unit, the international unit, which handles all companies or countries interested in increasing their trade with California; and there are a few others, but I will spare you some of the details.
The office has an interesting dynamic because each unit has its own separate office space within the building and we all have different purposes and jurisdictions, if you will. But at the same time, we all have a common goal of bettering the economy of California and our paths more than often intersect. Some days I will only see the people and interns that make up my unit, doing only international specific work. But other days, someone from Permits may need help with a translation, or Cal-Biz may have heard of an international company interested in expanding to California and we all work together to get the job done the right way. If I had to describe the dynamic with an example, I would say Go-Biz is like a baseball team. Unlike other sports, not all baseball players are on the field at the same time. Each player gets their time at the plate, so in many ways the game is all about the individual. Yet at the same time, all of these individual acts align within a common goal of getting a win. Go-Biz has a pretty great lineup that always goes to bat for businesses in the great state of California.