Hugo Hernandez, MPSA Class of 2015
- Where and with whom did you do your internship?
I did my internship with the Washington D.C. office for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. This office is in charge of analyzing the impact of U.S. trade and economic policy on Latin America and the Caribbean.
- What were your primary responsibilities?
My primary responsibilities were to conduct preliminary research on the impact that International Financial Institutions’ governance reform has on Latin America and the Caribbean development agenda. The office was putting together a grant application to further research in the level of representation that Latin American and the Caribbean countries have at these institutions, and they needed initial research showing potential correlation between the region’s voting share and the level of confidence in IFIs.
- Which of your previous classes or learning experiences were most useful to you during the internship?
The classes that were most useful were the Economic Analysis course with Dr. Taylor, International Economic Development with Dr. Williams, and Quant II with Dr. Lahey. The economic analysis course was useful because it set the base for understanding supply and demand for goods and services. In this setting I used these tools in analyzing individual countries’ demand for international funds coming specifically from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The international economic development course helped me understand the dynamics of trade policy and the impact that development funds have in this context. Finally, the Quant class helped me by providing me with the tools to understand what authors where trying to convey through their quantitative analyses.
- What were the highlights or most important learning opportunities from your internship experience?
Just working for the U.N. provided me the opportunity to interact with extremely intelligent professionals that made sure I was learning from my experience. Through the internship I had the opportunity to participate in events like a talk with Jose Mujica, President of Uruguay, the launch of the IMF’s outlook for the Western Hemisphere, and a talk with the President of the International Financial Corporation. Finally, the internship also help me put my researching skills learned at the Bush School to practice. It was nice to see that these skills I have been learning at the Bush School impressed my supervisors at the office.
- Do you have any advice for first year Bush School students who may be applying for an internship for this summer?
First, work on quantitative analysis and writing skills. Those were the most useful tools for me over the duration of the internship. Second, do not be afraid to propose new ideas. In my experience, my supervisors were very pleased when I brought them material of my own, even when sometimes they dismissed it right away. Finally, do not be afraid to ask for feedback. Sometimes supervisors will not want to make you feel bad by saying you are doing something wrong. That is why you must ask, to make sure you are complying with the quality level expected from you.