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Responsibility and Opportunity

Cristobal Salinas Jr.

As Educated Latinas, you have responsibilities as well as a lot of opportunities!

You want to start looking for an internship. An internship that will give you the opportunity to grow as a professional and leader,  learn about your specific field of interest. It will challenge you to be aware of what others do, what is “normal” in the environment, and what others expect.

An Internship is an opportunity for you to gain essential practice and a comprehensive preparation for your future job interest. You work at an internship, sometimes without pay, at a trade or occupation in order to gain work experience.  An internship is an opportunity for you to translate theory to practice. The theory and knowledge that you has learned translated into practice at the internship site. An internship should provide you with valuable work opportunities while one explores potential career choices.

There are semester-long, part-time and summer internships that allow you to apply and test the knowledge and skill you know. In my opinion, an internship should be done during the summer between your junior and senior years, although some students choose to have an internship earlier or to complete multiple internships; the choice is yours. However, by the summer of your junior and senior year you should be prepared to put in practice what you have learned in the classroom.

Internships also open doors to travel. How far are you willing to go? When looking for internships look at different regions, because this is your opportunity to visit cities that you might want to live in or experience.

During your internship make sure you make connections and network with other professionals. After you complete your internship they might offer you a full-time job, or they could refer you to another organization or company.  Do not forget to include your internship experience on your resume.

My internship experiences have been a life changing experience. I gain the experience to better understand my leadership skills. I developed an educational learning practice by incorporating theory and leadership training to help others build a learning environment. While I completed the internship program, I was able to network with faculty, staff, and administrators across different institutions, organizations, and companies. This networking allowed me to better understand how the systems work as it relates to assisting students and leadership development. The valuable lessons that I learned from my internship experience not only direct my daily work, but continue to maintain my passion for student development, student success, and student leadership development.

One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned during my internships is that everything is possible. The cities that I lived in, the everyday unexpected,  challenges, ideas and new experiences. I was challenged in many levels at the office, in the city, and with other interns. I learned new ideas on how to become a better leader, how to overcome obstacles and challenges, and how to be a responsible citizen. I was exposed to new experiences; working on the Senate side, meeting Ambassadors from all over the world, riding in the elevators with Senators,  meeting with faculty, staff and students from different universities, meeting friends with different points of views, eating Ethiopian food, among many other experiences. I learned many valuable lessons that I will take with me wherever I go. I left my internship site with a good sense of purpose, new friends from across the nation, and with an eager anticipation of what is to come.

I encourage you to apply to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Internship. The purpose of the Congressional Internship Program (CIP) is to expose young Latinos to the legislative process and to strengthen their professional and leadership skills, ultimately promoting the presence of Latinos on Capitol Hill and in Federal Agencies.

The Congressional Internship Program provides college students with a paid work placement in a Congressional Office or Federal Agency for a period of twelve weeks (Spring/Fall) or eight weeks (Summer). This unmatched experience allows students to learn first-hand about our nation’s legislative process.

To learn more or apply to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute click here.

It is your responsibility to educate yourself; there are a lot of opportunities for you to grow as professional and leader. Do not be afraid to seek help. Ask your professors or student affairs professionals at your university, and contact the organization or company that interests you the most to work for.

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