PAAIA CHIP Fellow Reflects on Internship with Senator Dianne Feinstein

By: Mitra Yazdi

September 9, 2013, San Francisco, CA – This summer I had the incredible opportunity to take part in PAAIA’s Capitol Hill Internship Program by interning in Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office in San Francisco. Interning in Senator Feinstein’s office was both an amazing experience and a great learning opportunity. Handling mostly cases of constituent services and field representation, the San Francisco office gave me the chance to learn much more about localized politics and the intricacies of democratic representation. I enjoyed being able to interact with a diverse constituent body in different capacities and learning more about the issues they care about.

While I was able to sit in on meetings with various interest groups and hear their concerns regarding national issues, I was also able to work in assisting individual constituents with their claims and cases against federal agencies. This very personalized view of public office proved to be a very good introduction to the world of politics in general. Hoping to work in Washington, D.C. this coming summer, I feel that this experience provided me with the skills and preparation that I need to succeed in the fast-paced environment of the capital, in addition to giving me insight into the human aspect of the political process.

Working in Senator Feinstein’s office was very inspirational. As a young woman hoping to enter the field of politics, the senator was a great role model. A senior and respected senator with much influence in Congress, Senator Feinstein is a testament to the progress that women have made in the field of politics, and proof of what can be attained with hard work and confidence.

Throughout my time interning in the senator’s office, I found PAAIA to be an invaluable resource. Through the PAAIA program, I was able to meet other influential Iranian Americans who are currently working successfully in the legal and political fields that interest me, as well as amazing NexGen members who inspired me as peers. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the events PAAIA sponsored relating to the reception of the Cyrus Cylinder at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum, and was thankful to have been able to supplement my time interning at the senator’s office with a glimpse of the incredible work that PAAIA does in other fields.

I cannot thank PAAIA enough for all they have done for me as a source of guidance and support. Without them, my experience this summer would not have been as fruitful or as enjoyable as it proved to be. I look forward to working with them and taking part in their organization more in the future.

Click here to learn more about PAAIA’s Capitol Hill Internship Program.

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