As my junior semester came to an end, I began to stress out about finals and looking for a part time job or internship related to my field of study. Some friends knew that I was on the hunt, so they were generous to keep an eye out for any openings. One of my friends, Janelly, tagged me on an internship offer on Facebook.
The organization was called HACE.
I was curious and decided to browse through their web page. The concept of the organization appealed to me so I decided to email them a resume. A couple interviews later I landed the Marketing & Communications Internship! But not without first walking away with 5 very important lessons:
1 Be flexible during the interview process. My first interview had to be rescheduled but I took advantage of this opportunity by really preparing myself. I continued researching the organization and the individuals that were a part of it to see what other information I could use to my advantage.
2 It’s okay to be nervous, but be prepared! The time had finally arrived for me to knock it out of the ball park. My phone rang at 2pm sharp as expected, yet I was startled as if it were a killer from a movie calling. I let two rings go by as I took much needed deep breaths. I quickly got into my “professional” character and went through the interview with minor hiccups. After a few days passed, I was notified that I had advanced to the next step of the interviewing process. The extra research worked to my advantage.
3 Set a great first impression by being punctual. The day of the in-person interview I woke up bright and early to make huevos con salsa verde y jamon. I also made sure I had plenty of time to iron my suit and remove irish pennants. I practiced a mock interview with my younger brother’s girlfriend before heading to the train. She and my brother helped point out some of my flaws. As I made my way to the train station, I tried my best not to panic and relaxed by enjoying some music. Before I knew it, I was outside of the HACE building. I was relieved when I received a warm welcome from the man at the elevator. This reassured me that everything would be OK.
4 A little pep-talk with yourself can go a long way. I pressed the button for the eleventh floor and made my way to the HACE office. I stood outside of the door for a few moments to gather my thoughts. I knocked hesitantly. Next thing I knew I heard someone down the hallway ask, “Are you Gabriel?” I waved my hands up and said, “Hey, yeah… it’s me!”
5 Knowledge is confidence. My interviewer, Vanessa, greeted me into HACE’s office space. Vanessa welcomed me to a seat and offered me a cup of water. I was put at ease when we began to go through the interview and I subtly brought up information I had gathered from my research. Vanessa seemed impressed by knowledge on the organization and skills that I developed through club involvement at school.
A few days later, I received an email welcoming me to the Marketing and Communications team at HACE. I was thrilled to take on the challenge and learn.
My internship experience has not just been strictly focused in the office. It has extended beyond by offering me the opportunity to attend networking events free of cost. There are many Latino professionals present at these events, all influential in their organizations and with great advice to offer young professional like myself. I continue to learn from HACE and I am grateful for the opportunities that it has given me thus far.
Interested in working as an Intern for HACE? Contact Vanessa@haceonline.org!