Advice For The Fellows

Senate Fellows at Ag Day

It’s that time of year again in Sacramento… the Fellows have arrived.

From around the state and nation, eighteen highly qualified college graduates have been selected as Senate Fellows, where they will participate in a year-long program that will introduce them to the inner workings of state government.

It will be a fun and challenging year, and lifelong friendships will be made.

Some thoughts and suggestions for the incoming Fellows;

  • Remember that the reputation that you make for yourself as a Fellow will likely be with you for years, if not for your entire career. Be very careful with it; they damage easily.
  • Fellowship years that begin in election years will end in the middle of a two-year session. This means that fewer jobs will be open and competition will be harder. Start thinking about the job skills you want to learn in the next year and make plans to start looking for a permanent position in July.
  • If you’re unsure about whether you want to continue to work in the Capitol after your Fellows year ends, it’s best to assume that you will, and keep that option open.
  • Private conversations from within your placement office should not be shared with other Fellows. Private conversations with other Fellows should not be shared with your placement office.
  • Respect the legislators, even when they do funny things. You never know who you’ll be working for in a year.
  • Respect the constituents. It’s their building.
  • Respect the staff who have been around longer than you. They know what mistakes you’re probably going to make in the near future and can help you avoid them.
  • Respect the staff who are newer than you. They’re working hard to figure out how the system works and often don’t have as many friends and connections as you do. You’ll learn as much from helping them answer their questions as you did answering your own.
  • Respect the other Fellows. There is a very good chance that one of them may help you get a job someday.
  • Respect the institution and learn more about it. The California Legislature has a history that would amaze you if you took the time to study it. Most people don’t take the time, but you should. Knowing who David Broderick is (the bust in the Senate Chambers) will help you give really good tours of the State Capitol.