Culver City, California
Political Science Major
Philip Bennett has completed two internships at the Mayor's Office of Los
Angeles. His responsibilities as an Office of Economic and Business Policy intern included organizing focus groups with small businesses and accompanying Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at business openings.
Tell us more about your internship.
I had the privilege to help with the organizing of a focus group for small manufacturing businesses. The dialogues that we evoked were very productive. The most exciting stuff happened outside of the office though. There were 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 cleaned.
How do you think this experience helped you in terms of your future career plans?
This internship benefited me by allowing me to have invaluable networking opportunities. I 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 was the coolest part of your internship?
The coolest part was 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 give an example of how your experiences at Knox helped you during the internship?
The basic ideas about a community that I have learned about at Knox helped me at the Mayor's Office. I 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!