By Emilie Chacon |Staff Writer|
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is an organization that gives opportunities to Hispanic students. It offers programs like HACU Alumni Association and Design Your Future, and is now representing over 400 colleges and universities.
One of their programs, the HACU National Internship Program, offers help to members to get an internship with the federal government and corporate sector, which is a good way to improve your résumé for your future.
“Essentially, an internship is work experience that helps you build a good network and you can reach them back,” said Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO of HACU. “It also helps you to decide which way you want to go.”
Benefits for participating in this program includes gaining experience, exploring fields, travel, networking and getting paid.
Students that have participated in the program earlier learn a lot about different cultures.
“It was a huge eye opener for me,” said one student that participated in the event in the Lower Commons Oct. 31 “You think DC will look like California because it is the same country, but it does not,” said another.
The work experience is also important for your future and this is why Pricilla Vasquez joined the association to get more of it and to have better networking.
“My goal is to settle in DC and work for a special government agency, either the FBI or CIA,” said Vasquez.
One other big benefit of this program is that HACU pays you to travel.
The round-trip airfare is completely covered by the association and your internship is paid.
Internships are mostly located in Washington, D.C., meaning you will have to move to the city. HACU helps students find housing close to their work.
To qualify for this HACU program, you have to meet some criteria like being enrolled in a degree-seeking program, have completed your freshman year, be an undergraduate or graduate student, have a GPA of 3.0 and be authorized to work in the United States.
Student Jessica Cerrato just learned about the program, but was really interested. The conference convinced her to apply right away.
“At first, I was a bit scared about moving out, but now that I know more about the program I really want to register. I always wanted to work for a government agency so it is probably the best way to start and get more contacts. Plus, people in here seem to be welcoming and being with Latinos like me is really cool,” said Cerrato.
If you are interested about the program or want more information, go to hacu.net . But hurry, “The program sells itself,” said Flores.