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hacu national internship program

From Internship to Public Service Career: A HACU Success Story

I never thought I could ever work in the U.S. government. One day, when I was applying for my U.S. citizenship at a local Hispanic nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., I saw a flyer about the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) National Internship Program (HNIP). This seemed unbelievable for a student coming from a low-income family to know that there were paid internships that could also help me grow in my career. I was pursuing an undergraduate education at George Washington University. Being the first generation to attend college in the U.S., I often had to let go unpaid internship opportunities that could have helped my career, and instead get side jobs to pay for college.

HACU Empowers the Next Generation

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area will highlight those who are making significant contributions to American agriculture.

Have you ever dreamed of having a beautiful, picturesque landscape as your “office” environment?  Ever thought of learning the full spectrum of a potential career in public service?  Students working with USDA’s Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program have that chance.

From every corner of the United States, HACU interns are experiencing the full range of opportunities USDA has to offer.  The HACU National Internship provides students with paid internship opportunities at federal agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations.  These internships, 15 weeks in the Fall or Spring, and 10 weeks in the Summer, provide students with unique work experience and the host agencies with a valuable recruitment resource.

USDA and the HACU National Internship Program: A Recipe for Success

Reach one, teach one. That is the approach that USDA has taken in its partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program. As a current employee with the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and a former HACU intern, I am glad to help continue this tradition.

The HACU National Internship Program helps talented students in more than 400 colleges and universities gain valuable experience through paid internships at federal, private, and non-profit organizations. USDA has been a leading organization working with the program, hosting nearly 1900 HACU student interns since 1994. I am part of the nearly 46% of former HACU interns who earned the opportunity to stay on board with the federal government after finishing my degree.