Politics Major Ivett Arellano ’22 Wins Panetta Internship

Politics major and SMC Student Ambassador Ivett Arellano ’22 has been chosen for the 2020 Panetta Institute Congressional Internship Program. After some summer training, she and the other interns plan to move to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., for a semester-long internship in the House of Representatives. Arellano will be the seventh intern from Saint Mary’s and could not be more excited.

“Senior Admissions Counselor and Visitor Center Coordinator Philip Goodwin told me about this internship, and I realized that it’d be an important opportunity to learn and gain the perspective of what being at the forefront of politics and policy is really like,” said Arellano. “As someone who wants to study education policy in grad school and beyond, I realized this would be a chance for me to get some hands-on experience and study politics in Washington, D.C.,” she added.

Goodwin ’16, the first Saint Mary’s student to hold a Panetta Internship, praised Arellano’s qualifications. “We are extremely excited to send Ivett to Washington, D.C., this coming fall, as she will be an excellent representative for Saint Mary’s College,” he noted. “Ivett’s professionalism, work ethic, and overall passion for politics will provide a great foundation for the work she will accomplish on the Hill.”

If everything goes to plan given the current COVID-19 pandemic, Arellano will begin training for two weeks on August 9 at CSU Monterey Bay, where the Panetta Institute, created by former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, is located. Then, she’ll travel to D.C. until the first week of November and work with a House member. When she returns, she’ll be required to write a 20-page policy report paper.

This will be the first trip to D.C. for Arellano, who grew up in Winters, CA. She is grateful to a number of people for their support in this process, including Politics Department Chair Ron Ahnen. “Also, Philip has been amazing; he told me about this and provided me with support and information,” she added.

Arellano chose Saint Mary’s after experiencing the campus’ Night-N-Gael event. “I've actually had family members who have gone to Saint Mary’s before,” she said, but she added that she had her doubts about attending. “I went ahead and participated in the program called Night-N-Gael, when students sleep over and go to class the next day. And that’s when I realized Saint Mary’s is the place for me just because I felt so welcomed. I was really intrigued by all the classes that I took, and I really saw myself being able to learn and to grow on campus and within the Bay Area.”

Arellano plans to study education policy in graduate school. “My ultimate goal is to become a professor of Education,” she said. We wish her luck in her internship and beyond, and are proud to have her represent Saint Mary’s College.