Dominican University student raul Navarrete speaks on his experience at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Where did you intern this Fall and what were some of your favorite projects?

In the fall of 2017, I was a Fellow at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and could not have been placed at a better organization than this one. Throughout my time at the Foundation, I was given the tools and resources necessary for my success, in order to achieve and advance professionally, mentally, socially, and intellectually. I was a part of a small, yet mighty Foundation team whom the majority were new to their role. The experience I received, through the projects I was assigned, was quite substantial as I took on projects that would later take me to Dallas, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. The substantive work I received and contributed to the Foundation involved helping manage programs and initiatives that contributed to encouraging entrepreneurial ideals, cultivate business growth, strengthen local chambers, and foster leadership values. I’m extremely thankful for the Washington Internship Institute for being the bridge in the placement process and connecting me to a wonderful organization.

What did you learn in your classes?

The classes provided by the Washington Internship Institute were tremendously beneficial to my professional development and also contributed to my knowledge of Policy & Politics. We touched on widely discussed topics such as: education reform, immigration reform, healthcare reform, campaign financing, the death penalty, etc. Overall, the classes helped me advance myself and zero in on my personal political stance and essentially helped keep me well informed with our current administration. Being inside Washington gave me perspective of who I want to become and where I want to go in life.

What did you do in your free time?

At first, free time in D.C seemed like it was only on the weekends, but as the semester continued, I quickly realized that free time was any time I wasn’t in the office. I attended networking events, took self-guided tours of all the FREE museums D.C has to offer, joined a dance team to cater to my dancer’s lifestyle, went to happy hours with my roommates, played 8-ball pool in my penthouse, became a foodie (D.C has great food) and overall lived my best life.

Recommendations for future DC interns?

·      DO NOT enclose yourself in your apartment and take full advantage of all the resources and events happening around you!

·      Budget your money wisely.

·      Build life-long connections with your cohort.

·      Remember that you are not only representing WII and the organization in which you work for but also yourself.