July 24, 2012
This is Philip Bennett's second summer at the Mayor's Office of Los Angeles. His responsibilities as an Office of Economic and Business Policy intern include organizing focus groups with small businesses and accompanying Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at business openings. Philip is a junior political science major from Culver City, California.
Tell us more about your internship.
I intern at the office from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I usually get a few assignments in the morning and have them completed before noon (lunch). There are staff meetings that I attend as well, where the office brainstorms ideas for their projects. The most exciting stuff happens outside of the office though. There are intern activities such as field trips to important places around Los Angeles. On one of our excursions we took a field trip to the Hyperion Treatment Plant, the place where the Los Angeles water gets clean. The interns also have scheduled lunches with the mayor and other important City Hall personnel. I have had the privilege to help with the organizing of a focus group for small manufacturing businesses. The dialogues that we evoked were very productive!
How do you think this experience will benefit you in terms of your future career plans?
This internship has benefited me by allowing me to have invaluable networking opportunities. I have met a variety of people at City Hall that are doing what I want to be doing one day. I plan on being involved in Los Angeles politics in the future. I would like to be on City Council one day and maybe mayor!
What has been the coolest part of your internship so far?
The coolest part has been meeting so many great people. There are a lot of very accomplished and educated people at City Hall, and it is a very motivating environment to be in.
What inspired you to pursue the internship?
I have always admired public servants and local level government. I personally think it is the most important. My mother is very active in the non-profit scene in Los Angeles, which has always been inspiring. So this internship seemed like a good start to my political career.
Can you cite an example of how your experiences at Knox have benefited you in the internship?
The basic ideas about a community that I have learned about at Knox have helped me at the Mayor's Office. I have learned about what it takes to be a productive community and that my experience in the Knox College and Galesburg community has helped me with people too. I have learned how one person can become involved in his or her community. Public service is important!
What do you expect to learn during the rest of your internship?
I expect to continue to learn the many roles of city government. I want to continue to learn about what the public servants can do and will do for the people they serve.