Intern Spotlight: Valeria Hernandez

Intern Spotlight: Valeria Hernandez

Summertime can be the ideal time for college students to hold an internship, in order to gain experience in their field of interest and to build their resume. Valeria Hernandez spent this past summer in Washington, D.C., working as an intern at the U.S. Department of State. She was part of the Post Management Office for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, providing management support for foreign embassies. She would draft and send innovation memos for the Assistant Secretary of State, compute Business Process Maps, and do statistical analysis aimed at increasing the efficiency of the European Fleet.

Hernandez, a Psychology major, found the internship through a search on usajobs.gov. She had wanted experience in public diplomacy, something geared towards international relations, and her mindset when searching for the right internship was to dream big. She thought, “If I knew I could succeed at anything, what would I do? I had nothing to lose.” Hernandez expressed that college students tend to hold themselves back, that they don’t reach for goals they could well be suited for: “We tend to put limits on our own skills; we are our own detractors.”  She decided to test herself in this internship, and the positive experience was a verification of her own abilities and skills, giving her confidence for future pursuits.

The year-long application process was challenging. Although Hernandez applied the summer of 2017, she did not receive clearance until May 2018, when she was told that she was expected in D.C. the following week for the start of the program.  The screening process was extensive, but Hernandez made a competitive candidate for several reasons.  Strong academic performance, study and travel abroad experience from the UD Rome semester, knowledge of three languages, past management-training internships, a liberal arts education, and club leadership on campus were all qualifications that strengthened Hernandez’ application.

One of the biggest lessons Hernandez gained through this experience was learning about the power of the mindset and belief in individual ability. Realizing you actually are deserving of your internship, not just lucky to have gotten it, is an important step in believing that you are capable of achieving what you set out to do in the professional world. Employers appreciate a diverse workforce and encourage different backgrounds, meaning you should promote whatever makes you unique as a person and prospective employee. Your passions and commitment to those passions will make you stand out.

This internship has opened the door to more opportunities for Hernandez, including acting as the Public Affair Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State for UD, and she feels much better equipped for the future with this internship experience under her belt.

To make an appointment with a career counselor, click here.

 

 

Alumni Answers:
Jobs for Theology Majors

Alumni Answers:
Jobs for Theology Majors

Dear Alumni,
What jobs can you get with a degree in theology from UD? Have most paired theology with some “more practical” discipline? Hannah, Junior Theology Major

Victoria W. (BA Psychology, 2013), Scrum Master at Southwest Airlines

Hi Hannah, I would start with what you’re interested in. Do you want to teach, or be involved in pastoral ministry? If so, I’d talk to faculty in those departments, potentially the education department as well. If you’re more interested in the business world, I’d strongly suggest taking business classes and speaking with the business faculty. Look for internships where you can build real experiences. Many employers love liberal arts majors. I’d be prepared to speak to what your major brings (writing and research skills, true critical thinking skills, dispassionate arguing, etc.) beyond the content you’ve learned. I’d also suggest looking at the non-profit world. I can’t answer if most have paired it with a “more practical” discipline. But, I can say that UD will prepare you for a variety of jobs. You just have to be willing to search for the right opportunities (same as any business or “practical” major). Best of luck!

Bethany L. (BA Sculpture, 2003), Self-employed visual artist

Dear Junior Theology Major,
I was an art major and graduated in 2003. The classmates I know who were theology majors currently are employed as bankers, teachers, homemakers, priests, hmm, and that’s all I can think of. When I was a student, Fr. Lehrberger gave me some advice that I remember well. He suggested I find somewhere to do a year of service after graduation. I didn’t listen to him then, but years later, I was a missionary with an organization in the Bronx called LAMP that did evangelization with the materially poor. They supported me, and a theology degree would have been a nice thing to have earned prior to going there.
I’ve worked as a restaurant manager, office manager, missionary, postulant in religious life, and currently as a self-employed artist. My major was not particularly practical. It didn’t get me a job, but I didn’t really expect it to. My advice would be to focus on what it is you would like to do first. Maybe you don’t need to major in anything else. Maybe you go to technical school after UD or take an on-line course. And, make the most of your time at UD. An education can give you a lot more than a job.
All the best, and God bless you,
Bethany Lee, ’03

Wendy R. (BA English, 2007), Self-employed writer

The two obvious routes for a Theology major are teaching in a private school or working for a parish or non-profit; however, I think job searches depend more on the individual than on the major. If you have enough motivation and gumption, you can make any major work to your advantage. As a professional resume writer, I see countless resumes with degrees that do not pertain to the individual’s career. I see that you are a junior, so it may be difficult at this point to seek out a double major in something more “practical” as you mentioned in your question. If you do not want to follow the traditional track of theology majors, I would suggest focusing on internships in fields that interest you, networking (consider joining Young Catholic Professionals chapter in Dallas), and finding summer jobs that build actual skills and develop contacts. Best of luck.

Todd S. (MBA Organizational Development 2012), Self-employed Talent Development Consultant

I think you can get any job you want as long as you have good grades and can relate your learning to whatever discipline you are applying for. Degrees are important, but not as important as how you can show that the skills you learned and experiences you had in college translate directly to the job you are looking for.

 

Alumni Answers: Working for a consulting firm

Alumni Answers: Working for a consulting firm

Dear Alumni,
I’ve been passionate about doing consulting for the last 3 years. Now, as I face graduation in three months, I have started looking at the application process for my dream firms (Accenture, Deloitte, BCG, McKinsey, etc). Most of their undergrad hires are done through a campus recruiter, which UD lacks. People suggest to me I should reach out to someone through LinkedIn.. any suggestion on who to contact? a Senior level manager? An HR recruiter? and how to approach them without being perceived as self-interested? Thank you–Valeria, Senior Psychology and Business major

 

Todd S. (MBA Organizational Development 2012), Self-employed Talent Development Consultant

Valeria- LinkedIn is often the best place to start. Get a Premium account so you can connect with people not in your network. Please connect with me as I have several connections at the large consulting firms that I can share with you. Todd https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddstrosnider

 

Jack Z. (BA Psychology 1993), Legal Counsel & Chief of Appeals at Suffolk County District Attorney, Boston MA

I’d start here: https://www.mckinsey.com/careers/search-jobs

 

 

 

Victoria W. (BA Psychology, 2013), Scrum Master at Southwest Airlines

Hi Valeria, I would strongly recommend going through HR first. Ask what you can specifically do to strengthen your application. Feel free to reach out to leaders to ask what excellence looks like at that company and how you could best display that. I’d also recommend looking at other large companies. Often, they have roles similar to an in-house consultant. Best of luck!

Alumni Answers:
Struggling to find an internship

Alumni Answers:
Struggling to find an internship

Dear Alumni: I’m struggling to find internship opportunities for the summer. I have previous work experience, and a resume ready. My issue is mostly with connections and knowing where to look. What are steps I can take to help me get on the right path? What did you do at my age? Edisson, Sophomore, Business

Chris G. (BA Business, 2015), Corporate Trainer at Trintech, Inc.

The best advice I can give you now that I didn’t have at that age is this: Your LinkedIn profile is your resume in 2018 and for the foreseeable future. Yes, you should still have your Microsoft Word or PDF resume, but recruiters these days are especially keen to look at your LinkedIn presence. Also most modern companies (esp. tech) allow you to simply link to your LinkedIn Profile webpage/URL. This helps tons when you are applying for a variety of internships. Also (and I cannot emphasize this enough), take advantage of LinkedIn job searching functionality. It allows you to see opportunities in companies that you have connections with in your network, and apply immediately with your LinkedIn profile, and often an additional Cover Letter. The powers of LinkedIn to get yourself the right internship or job cannot be underestimated!!

Cooper W. (BA Philosophy, 2012), Attorney at Malone Akerly Martin PLLC

Hi Edisson: First off, I want to commend you for trying to get some work experience over the summer. I know it can be difficult, but be persistent. My experience has been that the way you make connections and know where to look is by getting out there shaking some hands. There were many times when I was in law school that I went to different events where I knew attorneys would be present. I’d put on my best suit, bring some resumes, and talk to anyone who would give me their time. It was from those experiences that I began making connections and figured out where to go look for jobs. I’m not sure what kind of work you are looking for, but see if you can’t find a meeting or convention taking place in the field you are interested in. Show up, look nice, and have some resumes handy. I know doing that can be intimidating, but I’ve had my best experiences in situations such as this. Best of luck to you!

Killian B. (BA HIstory, 2015), Director of Annual Giving/Major Gift Officer at Diocese of Tyler

Edisson, What are you passionate about (outside of just wanting to be an entrepreneur)? Politics? Art? Writing? Music? Sports? Faith? Or what? It’s extremely valuable to keep your future career in mind and to prepare for it. But the majority of your time in college should be about pursuing the things you love for their own sake (not to necessarily get you to the next stepping stone). That’s what the “liberal” (meaning “free”) means in “liberal education” or “liberal arts”… you are “free” to pursue a passion for its own sake, not for the sake of making money, getting a job, etc. Ultimately, if you become an entrepreneur, there will always be someone better at a business or skill than you are. What will separate you from the pack is your passion/love for an industry, hobby, or art that drives you to continue pursuing a cause even when those better than you have given up. Think about how you’d ideally want to spend your summer. Then get back to us and we will try to help connect you to those that can help make that a reality. Peace, Killian Beeler, BA ’15

Victoria W. (BA Psychology, 2013), Scrum Master at Southwest Airlines

Hi Edisson, First, I would start with what you’re interested in and check out industry leaders. Most large companies will list internship opportunities on their websites. Another great starting place is employers in your desired location. If you’re looking to stay in Dallas, look at companies like USAA, Frito-Lay, or HP. See what looks interesting and go from there. Next year, I’d recommend starting your search in the first semester. Some employers, like Southwest Airlines, close their pipeline in November or December for the summer internship spots. Searching early will give you a chance to see what else is out there. Hope this helps! -Victoria, Class of 2013

Mathew C. (BA English, 1992), Structures Technician at SpaceX

I never messed around with internships because I was an English major, but you can make use of technological advances that did not exist when I was a student – you have access to websites and search engines. You have the world at your fingertips – your only limitations are your imagination and ambition. When I was a student, I went back home (Iowa, then later, Kentucky) for breaks in the academic year. I did seasonal agricultural work (working in the cornfields of Iowa) because I’d been doing that every summer since junior high. After my family relocated to Kentucky, that employment opportunity was no longer an option, so I looked elsewhere. I ended up as a night clerk in a convenience store. Not glamorous work, to be sure, but it kept me paid and I met a lot of interesting people. Big box retailers are always hiring. Fast food restaurants are always hiring. In spite of unemployment figures, there are plenty of jobs out there. Construction work is always an option, too, minimal experience required and you learn new skills. Don’t be afraid to take a job doing manual labor – you may discover that you have a knack for building things and can then develop an avenue in which to apply your business education. I studied English at UD and now I build rockets. Not much correlation between my chosen field of study and eventual career, so don’t discount stepping outside your comfort zone and maybe generating some sweat equity.

Todd S. (MBA Organizational Development 2012), Self-employed Talent Development Consultant

Edisson, Networking is the best place to start. Talk to your friends who work at companies you are interested in. Try to schedule “informational interviews” with leaders and HR in those companies. Also, use the career services at UD. They have connections to companies and can help get you in touch with places if there are not any specific internships they are currently aware of. Also, got to meetings, meet-up groups that focus on the area you want to intern in. You can just do a search online and a few events will likely pop-up. Good luck! Todd

Rachel L. (BS Biology, 2011), Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C)  at Children’s Medical Center

Hi Edisson! You likely have connections you are unaware of! Speak with your professors and advisor. They often have connections in the field and can point you in the right direction. Consult the Career Services office as well; they have information about internship opportunities as well. Consider options outside of your comfort zone too–out of state or in an area that may not be your first choice. Often the experience will prove valuable and may result in new connections in your field of choice! Best of luck! Rachel

UD Student Lands
Summer Internship in London

UD Student Lands
Summer Internship in London

Elisa Ron

University of Dallas junior Elisa Ron (Politics & Economics) will have a unique opportunity to cultivate her fascination with international politics this summer. She’ll travel to London in May to take part in the Summer 2018 Hansard Society Scholars programme. This prestigious program includes a course in taught in conjunction with the London School of Economics and an internship in research, government or journalism in London.

Ron said that after returning from Rome, she knew she wanted to go back abroad. “I’m really looking forward to interacting with new people,” she said. “It’s a great chance to get out of my bubble.”

The Hansard programme application required Ron to submit a writing sample, a personal statement and two letters of recommendation. She said that she thought her semester in Rome may have been one factor that made her application competitive.

While Ron is still waiting for confirmation on where she’ll be placed, her first choice would be to work as an intern in research or at a think tank focusing on international affairs. Her second choice is to work in the British Parliament, and her third choice would be a journalism internship.

Ron believes that completing an internship abroad will undoubtedly bolster her resume. “Having work experience abroad tells future employers that I’m not just a tourist,” she said. Ron’s goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in International Comparative Politics.

For more information about internships or to make an appointment with an OPCD counselor, click here.