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HACU 2012 DC Annual Conf Student Reflections


A Carrera
Alyssa Carrera
Alyssa Carrera, Undergraduate Student with the USDA FATE Grant
 
1.  Why did you apply to go on the USDA FATE sponsored trip to Washington DC to attend the HACU Conference?
I personally had never been to Washington DC, and saw the opportunity to not only visit our nation’s capital, but to network with potential employers in both the federal and corporate sectors. After attending the summer conferences that were held here at Texas State, I was hungry for more knowledge about the various mission areas of the USDA and potential internship positions all over the United States.
 
2.  What did you expect to learn from attending this conference?
I expected to learn mainly about the opportunities that HACU and its partner organizations have to offer to students including scholarships, internships, and student workshops to enhance our skills and allow us to make ourselves more marketable when seeking job placement.
 
3.  What did you actually learn?
I learned that there are many more opportunities out there than I had originally thought. The amount of effort that HACU puts in to ensure its’ students success is absolutely incredible. While there I was able to attend interview preparation workshops as well as network with individuals from the USDA who now know who I am and are willing to help with the application process that accompanies summer internships.
 
4.  Has the experience at the conference changed your career goals? If yes, please explain.
The conference did not change my career goals, but it did open my eyes as far as looking for opportunities elsewhere. While I will still remain an Animal Science major, I now know that you can find employment in organizations that you would least expect with your skills.
 
5.  How has being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program helped you in pursuing a college education?
This program has helped alleviate the financial burden of higher education, and also given me knowledge that I would have otherwise not have been familiar with. The agroterrorism training that I received has made me more aware about potential pandemics and how to deal with them. Also, it has given me more information about what classes and skills I would need when pursuing employment with the federal government.
 
6.  What did you like best about the entire experience?
My favorite experience was speaking with Ruby De La Garza, who is the USDA Regional Director for Texas. She was very knowledgeable about all the questions that I had, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to have her as a mentor to assist me in the future.
 
7.  What will you tell your fellow USDA FATE scholars about this trip?
Aside from sharing information about the opportunities that were presented to us, I would also highly recommend that they try to attend the conference next year which will be held in Chicago. There are so many amazing speakers that attend these conferences and they have so much knowledge to share with students whom they want to see succeed.
 
8.  What will be your fondest memory of going to Washington DC and the HACU conference?
My fondest memory will have to be interacting with the other students that also had the privilege of attending the conference and all of the little adventures that we went on. Being at the conference, which was also in a city with such rich history, was truly amazing to experience with my peers and I believe we all got to know each other a little better while making connections with others that will potentially impact our future tremendously.

S DeLeon
Sergio DeLeon
Sergio DeLeon, Undergraduate Student with the USDA FATE Grant
 
1.  Why did you apply to go on the USDA FATE sponsored trip to Washington DC to attend the HACU Conference?
I felt that it would be a great opportunity to establish a solid foundation of networking and experience. It was also an opportunity that would help me gain leverage in obtaining an internship with the USDA in the near future. Potential employers also seek positives interactions and will surely be impressed knowing that I have attended this type of event. Overall this trip will be a great addition in my resume and will hopefully give me an advantage.
 
2.  What did you expect to learn from attending this conference?
I expected to learn how HACU has helped many individuals such as myself in obtaining a career with a respective organization. I was curious to learn some tips and recommendations for making a great first impression and the proper etiquette during an interview that will set me apart from the competition. I also wanted to gain an understanding of how to approach a future employer and showcase myself in a positive manner.
 
3.  What did you actually learn?
I learned that HACU has many partnerships throughout America with reputable organizations such as General Electric, Deloitte, the CIA and Teach for America to name a few. After listening to several representatives it was obvious that being associated with HACU is highly regarded during internship and employment opportunities. HACU is very much involved and highly respected within fortune 500 companies and rightfully so. I also learned that it is important to start preparing and organizing yourself now rather than procrastinating because you are never sure when an interview or last minute application opening arises. Setting short and long term goals are also very important because it will help you stay on task. There were several workshops that were giving guidance on resume building, the good and bad of social media and proper dress attire along with how to improve your weaknesses. This conference definitely showed me that I need to get myself ready and prepared soon if I want to succeed.
 
4.  Has the experience at the conference changed your career goals?  If yes, please explain.
My career goals have not changed at the moment. However, the HACU conference has given me more tools and ideas to help me better obtain a position within my field of choice.
 
5.  How has being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program helped you in pursuing a college education?
Due to the added financial assistance from the scholarship I am able to maintain a part-time position where I am capable to fully devote my time towards my school work. This opportunity has also helped me stay on task because of the requirements that have to be met to keep on being funded.
 
6.  What did you like best about the entire experience?
I like the fact that there were many different agencies that took time away from their busy schedule to give us proven advice on how to succeed. The representatives were very passionate and genuine during their presentation and were willing to share their experiences. There was also a sense of unity that was very welcoming and I never felt out of place.
 
7.  What will you tell your fellow USDA FATE scholars about this trip? 
This trip was a great opportunity to gain perspective on what to expect when working with well-established organizations such as Deloitte, the CIA and NAACP. It was a great way to set up meaningful networks and relationships with USDA/ HACU representatives. It will also give you time to get to know the other scholarship recipients. I felt that it brought a sense of camaraderie and appreciation within the group.
 
8.  What will be your fondest memory of going to Washington DC and the HACU conference?
My favorite part of the trip was when we took a night tour of the National Mall because all of the monuments were beautifully displayed and full of history. Visiting the Washington National Zoo was also a highlight for me because it was certainly a time where I was able to fully relax and enjoy the scenery.   

Juan Garcia
Juan Garcia

Juan Garcia, Graduate Student with the USDA FATE Grant

 
1.   Why did you apply to go on the USDA FATE sponsored trip to Washington DC to attend the HACU Conference?
My personal experience in Washington D.C. in previous years allowed me the opportunity to take a group of students to Washington D.C. My work ethic as a graduate student portrays characteristics such as being on time, scheduling itineraries and prioritizing, as well as motivation.
 
2.  What did you expect to learn from attending this conference?
I expected to learn about the opportunities HACU has to offer undergraduate students, graduate students and students seeking a Ph.D.
 
3.  What did you actually learn?
I learned a great deal from Dr. Antonio Flores about what HACU has done, where they are at now and their future plans.
 
4.  Has the experience at the conference changed your career goals?  If yes, please explain.
My future plans have not changed, although my perception about the many opportunities that HACU and other affiliate organizations has. I wasn’t aware of all the affiliations HACU was a part of and the many opportunities for Hispanics.
 
5.  How has being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program helped you in pursuing a college education?
It has helped me in becoming motivated to get stuff done. As a graduate student, I face many objectives throughout the semester and learning how to adapt and not panic to focus on the task at hand and get it done right.
 
6.  What did you like best about the entire experience?
I personally enjoyed the speaker Dr. Antonio Flores as well as the other guest speakers we had the privilege of hearing. Dr. Antonio Flores was knowledgeable about current Hispanic/Latino statistics as well as what HACU has done and is planning on doing for the future.
 
7.  What will you tell your fellow USDA FATE scholars about this trip? 
It is a great trip to get to know other USDA FATE scholars, see the many sites D.C. has to offer, and interact with top HACU/USDA people. Being able to network and make those connections will greatly impact my future.
 
8.  What will be your fondest memory of going to Washington DC and the HACU conference?
The most memorable event will be interacting with other recipients of HACU and other affiliate programs. Also meeting the leaders of HACU really impacted our future relations with them as a start to life-long connections.
 

A Martinez
Anailse Martinez

Anailse Martinez, Undergraduate Student with the USDA FATE Grant

 
1.  Why did you apply to go on the USDA FATE sponsored trip to Washington DC to attend the HACU Conference?
I thought it would be a great opportunity to network with people from different organizations and companies.
 
2.  What did you expect to learn from attending this conference?
My biggest expectation was to promote my ideas, plans, and to learn from the different people attending the conference.
 
3.  What did you actually learn?
I learned that there are many opportunities to take advantage of, but at the same time I need to work very hard to be a good candidate to achieve those goals.
 
4.  Has the experience at the conference changed your career goals?  If yes, please explain.
My career goals have not changed at all, but I realized that there are many chances for Latino students and that I need to work hard to achieve my goals.
 
5.  How has being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program helped you in pursuing a college education?
I learned to take advantage of all my qualities as a person and as a student and that setting higher expectations and goals is the way we can achieve everything.
 
6.  What did you like best about the entire experience?
The chance to live this experience with other USDA fellowship students and establish nice friendships, and of course, all the people I had the opportunity to meet was definitely what I enjoyed most about this trip
 
7.   What will you tell your fellow USDA FATE scholars about this trip? 
If I had the chance to do it again, I would definitely do it. It was a trip where I had the opportunity to learn and to share a lot of things about myself. I think it is something every student needs to experience.
 
8.  What will be your fondest memory of going to Washington DC and the HACU conference?
My greatest memory was that I had the chance to interact with many different directors and USDA members and was able to network with them, this experience was a great motivation for me.
 

 


M martinez
Marissa Martinez

Marissa Martinez, Undergraduate Student with the USDA FATE Grant

 
1.  Why did you apply to go on the USDA FATE sponsored trip to Washington DC to attend the HACU Conference?
After my previous experience at the USDA conference in Washington D.C. this past February, I couldn’t pass up another great opportunity to network with industry leaders across the nation. This opportunity to attend a conference such as HACU is really a once in a lifetime opportunity and having it at a beautiful place such as Washington D.C. was another added benefit.
 
2.  What did you expect to learn from attending this conference?
Upon attending the HACU conference I had their mission of championing Hispanic success in higher education embedded in my mind. I expected to learn how to better myself as a leader and how to be successful in my future endeavors in the business world.   
 
3.  What did you actually learn?
I learned a plethora of information about what it takes to be successful in the future. Information from how to interview to how to make your own brand was discussed at the conference. I also learned so much more about HACU that I never knew of upon applying. HACU has really come a long way and it has a bright future ahead.
 
4.  Has the experience at the conference changed your career goals?  If yes, please explain.
The conference has not changed my career goals. I still plan on becoming a veterinarian in the near future, but I feel like the conference did open my eyes to the many opportunities offered by HACU including internships and job opportunities.
 
5.  How has being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program helped you in pursuing a college education?
Being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program has opened many doors of opportunity for me. With the price of college continually rising, it is hard to accumulate the funds needed and as a first generation college student I am grateful for such a program. As a participant of the FATE program, I also have the opportunity upon interning within the USDA during my college career, which is also a once in a lifetime opportunity. This program has helped me to strive for success by keeping my grades up and being the best I can possibly be.
 
6.  What did you like best about the entire experience?
I really enjoyed the different workshops that were offered during the conference. Not only were they beneficial, but they were given by Hispanic leaders from different corporations around the nation. This gives me hope, as a minority, that I may be able to be a leader in the future as well.
 
7.  What will you tell your fellow USDA FATE scholars about this trip? 
It was really an amazing experience in all aspects. I was able to network with top industry leaders, which will help me in my future, and at the same time I met many other students with the same aspirations as myself. I was not ready to come back to Texas because Washington D.C. was so beautiful.
 
8.  What will be your fondest memory of going to Washington DC and the HACU conference?
My fondest memory was the networking connections I made with not only the industry and HACU leaders, but also with the other students who have the same dream of being successful in the future and changing the fact that Hispanics are the minorities.  

D Morales Image
Diana Morales

Diana Morales, Graduate Student with the USDA FATE Grant

 
1.  Why did you apply to go on the USDA FATE sponsored trip to Washington DC to attend the HACU Conference?
Having had the great opportunity to attend last years HACU conference in San Antonio I knew that it was an excellent opportunity for me to further my networking. It as well would allow me to visit the beautiful capitol of our nation.
 
2.  What did you expect to learn from attending this conference?
 I expected to learn about different job/internship opportunities that could be available to me.
 
3.  What did you actually learn?
I learned a great deal from the different presenters that where at the student track. It ranged from how to get ready for an interview to how to make your elevator pitch to someone.
 
4.  Has the experience at the conference changed your career goals?  If yes, please explain.
My career goals have not changed, I still plan to complete my masters degree. Becoming an agriculture science teacher and pursuing my Ph.D. in the future.
 
5.  How has being a participant in the USDA FATE scholarship program helped you in pursuing a college education?
 The FATE scholarship has given me a greater knowledge and motivation on what I need to do to accomplish my educational goals.
 
6.  What did you like best about the entire experience?
What I liked best about the entire experience was being able to network as well as being able to relate to other students that have similar goals as mine. Also being able to see many of the historical landmarks of our country was an exceptional experience.
 
7.  What will you tell your fellow USDA FATE scholars about this trip? 
This trip was an extraordinary trip and is something that they should all look into attending for next year. I know it can help open the door of many great opportunities for many of them.
 
8.  What will be your fondest memory of going to Washington DC and the HACU conference?
One of my fondest memories of this trip was being able to interact will the other fellow FATE scholars and building many great relationships with other people at the conference.