“I am looking at lots of opportunities I didn’t have before . . . almost more than I can decide among.”
That’s the enviable position Miguel Lugo, a finance, marketing and international business major in the College of Business Administration, finds himself in thanks in part to a paid summer internship through the Hispanic National Internship Program (HNIP) of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
One of 460 NIP interns—280 of them based in Washington, DC with the others in field offices across the country—Lugo works in the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor doing “substantive assignments.”
He is focused on two primary projects for the summer, and fills in as needed on others. The first required him to choose a topic on which to write an article enabling users of the department’s web site to see new ways to use data. The second is to create a directory about how to access paper-based historical data from the ’20s and ’30’s.
Meaningful assignments provide only part of the value.
Though work occupies 40 hours per week, Lugo has had ample time to explore the East Coast and to network, including with many Florida International University (FIU) alumni, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. Representative from the 18th District of Florida, among them.
“HACU wants you to spend time in every government agency” he said. “For example, we heard a presentation by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about what life in the agency is like, and we met members of the Hispanic caucus in Congress. We also toured the Capitol and the White House.”
With the internship—which he found through a Google search on “summer internships”—drawing to a close and his undergraduate degree expected in December 2009, he sees a brighter future because of what he’s learned and the contacts he’s made.
“I feel very lucky to be able to look ahead to making a decision about my career versus having to find a job,” he said.
Two other business students, Maria Lau and Ana Maria Silva are also HNIP interns this summer.