With all the bad publicity that actor Charlie Sheen has been getting this month, a grain of something positive associated with his name can be refreshing.
Internship.com is offering something called the Charlie Sheen Internship, an eight-week paid internship in social media. The announcement was made by Twitter on March 7. And Campbell resident Paria Amini is making her way up the stream.
Internship.com describes the internship as one that focuses on "executing a social media strategy that will build on the success Charlie Sheen has attained in setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Twitter."
Amini, a Campbell resident for 10 years and a alumna, has made it through the third round, which left the initial 82,148 applicants sliced down to 250.
Originally, she found out about the internship through her sister, who runs MODE Bay Area and follows Charlie Sheen on Twitter.
"It’s been a lot of fun since the beginning," Amini says.
The first round of the contest entailed writing a tweet to Charlie Sheen. Round two, the participants were asked to give specific information about themselves, including work history, experience and social media accounts.
"They work with DNA cases, like homicides and rape, using DNA to get inmates out of jail that are wrongly convicted," she says. "I love working for them."
Cathy Dreyfuss, the DNA Project's director, says Amini is "an excellent worker, smart, diligent—and I believe she intends to go to law school and is passionate about the work."
So why this internship?
"Personally for me, [it's] just something I’d love to add to my resume," Amini says. "It's cool to be part of the 250. I would just love to do something different."
More Than Just Social Tweeting
Different may be an understatement, as the Santa Clara University student is majoring in religious studies and hopes to take the LSAT in June so she can apply to law school at the end of the year.
"Career-wise, I want to have a career in politics," she says. "I am very cautious about what I do. He’s (Charlie Sheen) not the one to have the greatest image, but so far Internship.com has been professional and has looked for educated people with great social media experience. If it gets to the point that I am asked to say or do something I’d disagree with, I’d drop out."
Amini says she knows she wants to do something that would impact other people's lives.
"I know that's cliché, but it's true," she says.
She attended West Valley Community College after high school and in her first quarter was asked to attend a political or community event for a class. She chose to attend one of the monthly Santa Clara County Republican Party meetings.
"The more I got into it, the more I loved being able to do it," she says. "That’s when I became introduced to political atmosphere, and I loved it. You can see how you can impact others’ lives."
She moved on to work at San Jose City Hall as an assistant to Councilman Pete Constant.
"I think she’s a great young lady, and she’s got a lot of talent," says Constant. "She was a very hard worker. I think that the time that she spent in my office was very productive, very helpful to me. What I liked about her, when I gave her an assignment, I knew it would be handled appropriately. That provided a lot of peace of mind."
It was while working alongside the councilman that Amini received a phone call that solidified her desire to work in politics.
"I’m Persian, and when I was working there, someone called in, and I could tell she was Iranian from her accent and couldn’t speak English," Amini says. "She said that she had lost her job and wanted to know what she could do, where she could get food stamps, find help.
"I talked to her in Farsi; she said thank you," she says. "People from my own culture and community aren't as involved in politics as I would like to see. I would love to be that representation for my own people."
Round 3 of the Charlie Sheen Internship contest closed Friday, and the next round will drop participants from 250 to 50. Amini says she hopes she makes the cut.