Summertime Internships Help Students Reflect, Move Forward
LC Gazette, Volume 28, No. 31, pp. 3
By Eric Eldritch
Five interns, their supervisors and program alumni gathered earlier this month to reflect on what they had learned through participation in the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities National Internship Program (HNIP).
HNIP provides post-secondary students with on-the-job training to augment their academic studies while learning about career opportunities in the federal government. These internships provide the Library programmatic support in combination with the opportunity for staff to develop mentoring skills and to help cultivate a diverse workforce.
The program is coordinated by the Library of Congress’s division of Internship and Fellowship Programs (IFP).
The Aug. 8 event, which served as the closing program for 2017 summer HNIP session, was opened by Jason Yasner, newly appointed the acting director of Scholarly and Educational Programs.
“This internship supports the continuing education goals of National and International Outreach and the Library of Congress by coordinating interns who gain experience from and contribute to the work of the Library,” Yasner said.
Three of the interns – Giorleny Altamirano, Ashley Ortiz and Stephanie Mendoza – were selected for placement in the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
“HNIP is part of CRS’s Student Diversity and Inclusion Internship Program,” said Eliamelisa Gonzalez, a human capital management specialist in CRS’s Office of Administrative Operations. “Each year, this program introduces a diverse group of students to the various career paths within CRS and provides them with the opportunity to learn more about fulfilling their long-term career objectives. As participants in the program, the HNIP interns performed a variety of activities including contributing to reports, managing small projects and attending congressional hearings.”
Said Mendoza: “At first, I wasn’t sure how my skills in statistics would be applied in federal employment at CRS. By the end of my internship, my skills expanded and I learned how my department’s work fits into the Library of Congress as a whole.”
Two other interns helped advance the Library’s mission elsewhere in the institution.
Anna Munichkina worked in the Office of the Chief Information Officer as an information-technology investment-management intern, leading aspects of projects that document and outline the office’s processes.
Monique Perez, who is pursuing a master’s in library and information sciences at the University of Arizona, worked as a project assistant for IFP.
Perez opened her presentation at the Aug. 8 gathering by showing a picture of herself standing in front of the Jefferson Building. “I promised myself back in 2012 that someday I will work here,” she said, “and now it’s a dream come true for me.”
She explained that she both knew, and didn’t know, what to expect. “I saw the program side of librarianship. I assisted my department to initiate a new pilot internship and establish a web page for internships across the Library,” she said.
The Library has been engaged in HNIP for 18 years and over that span has hosted hundreds of interns, working on projects across the agency. “Today you become part of an important legacy that began in 1999, and a network of over 240 HNIP students who have interned here at the Library,” said Julie Lee, who coordinated the summer session for IFP.