A&M International Students Explore Future with HACU Internships

When Patricia Ramírez, a senior sociology major at Texas A&M International University, received news of her selection for a prestigious summer internship in Washington, D.C., she worried not so much about the trip but about who would pay the monthly bills at home.

Ramírez, one of six A&M International students chosen by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to participate in various government internships throughout the United States this summer, said the thought of leaving her husband alone to do the household chores worried her at first.

"I'm the one who sends our bill payments every month and now I've asked myself, 'who is going to do it while I'm gone?' " Ramírez said.

But Ramírez said she decided to take advantage of her internship opportunity at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration branch of the Department of Health and Human Services because her husband encouraged her to do so.

"I am excited and nervous," Ramírez said of her internship. "I have always been interested in working for a non-profit agency. I hope to gain experience and that this internship will lead to a future position in government," Ramírez said.

While Ramírez will help her host agency write grants, the rest of the A&M International students participating in the HACU Internship will also perform challenging tasks throughout the country. They include David Uribe, assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.; Dinorah Sepulveda, the Department of Defense, Virginia; Janie Opperman, Department of Veteran Affairs, Nevada; and Maribel Mata, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. A sixth student was chosen but decided not to participate.

Virginia García, director of Career Services, said the HACU Summer Internship seeks to match students and their skills to internship opportunities in federal agencies and large corporations.

"A&M International is proud to have had six applicants apply and all six be offered an internship," she said, "A 100 percent acceptance rate in this competition is rare," García said.

Applications for the Fall 2001 HACU National Internship competition are still available at A&M International's Career Services or on the Internet at http://www.hacu.net, García said.

For further information, please contact García at 326-2260 or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 157. Office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 8 a.m. -7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu