|Martinez Lands Department of Commerce Internship|
After applying for the third time to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program, Martinez thought his application and resume were forgotten. Then the phone call came while he was driving.
A few days later, Martinez was interviewed and was offered an internship with the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
“I was stunned, and questioned if I wanted to take the internship with so little time to prepare,” Martinez said. “I asked my professors and family for advice. They helped me realize the importance of this experience, and I couldn’t miss it.”
It was as if Martinez’s final semester was divinely designed to accommodate a paid fall internship in Washington, D.C. because his independent studies and online course did not require his attendance on campus.
However, he will be missed in the Campus Ministry Office. For a year, Martinez was the friendly face that greeted everyone who entered the office.
“Jessie embodies all the goodness that typifies a University of St. Thomas student,” said UST Chaplain Fr. Mike Buentello, CSB. “He freely shared his faith and all his talents with everyone. I was amazed by his ability to be so organized. He maintained a full class schedule, worked and participated in activities away from the University.”
Martinez had to pack and organize his life for Washington, D.C. in one week. The HACU program paid for Martinez’s travel expenses and helped him find affordable housing. The program also allotted Martinez a stipend for the semester.
“My education as an international studies major has prepared me for this internship,” Martinez said. “The internship also made me more aware of places where I can apply my education because the Department of Commerce wasn’t previously on my radar as somewhere I could work.”
Martinez will finish his internship and return to Houston in December to graduate. But he will not be here for long. In January, he will depart for Santiago, Chile, where he plans to attend the Pontifical Catholic University and pursue a master’s degree in the field of international relations.
This opportunity was made possible through the Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship from District 5890 Rotary Club. This award gives Martinez the chance to study in Chile for one academic year at a university of his choice. As an ambassador for Rotary, Martinez will serve the community, and he hopes to further develop microlending in Chile through the UST MicroCredit Program.
“I hope during my year abroad, I will educate individuals about American culture, while I gain further knowledge of their culture,” Martinez said.