Belen Dominguez

Intern name: Belen Dominguez

Major(s)/Minor(s): Political Science & Hispanic Studies double major and Communication minor 

Title/place of internship/fellowship, etc.: Asamblea De Derechos Civiles -St. Cloud Intern

How did you find out about your internship/fellowship/etc.? I heard about the internship opportunity through a fellow senator Cindy Umana, who graduated my junior year. She had shadowed with the organization for her capstone and as well as supported some of the work they did. She even drafted up the internship position description. When I heard about the internship position, I reached out to Cindy to learn more about the position and the organization as a whole. She then connected me directly with her supervisor, who interviewed me.

What were your responsibilities at your internship/fellowship/etc.? A big part of my responsibilities during this internship was to support local work and initiatives that impacted rural MN areas. For example, I spent a huge chunk of my summer researching and contacting candidates running for local, state, and federal elections. I then created informational flyers on these candidates in both Spanish and English for the organization to share with the community. This experience was a very rewarding one especially in the time we are currently in, being so close to elections. It was very nice doing the work to inform myself about local representatives and then being able to inform others as well.

Another big part of my job was to support a coalition of organizations that came together, fundraised, and provided assistance to undocumented people in Minnesota who were facing financial strains because of COVID-19.

What was the most beneficial aspect of your experience? The most beneficial aspect of my experience was being able to learn about non-profits. It opened the door to new opportunities and career options I had not explored before. I also was able to learn and connect with so many other organizers through the state of Minnesota, so I am very thankful for all the connections.

What was the most surprising thing you experienced or learned during your internship/fellowship/etc.? Something that surprised me was how friendly and helpful the alumni are. During our fellowship seminars, we would have guest speakers who worked and did a variety of things, but who ALL shared their contact information and were so generous with their time and resources to support us in that moment and in the future.

How can you apply what you experienced at your internship/fellowship/etc. in the future? I will definitely apply everything I learned about making connections and reaching out to people. I also believe that this internship opportunity gave me a lot of experience with working with others especially when I assisted the immigrant family fund project.

What advice would you offer to future students interested in this experience? Be open to new experiences and job opportunities. The organization I interned with was a last-minute find because of covid-19 but I am extremely happy and grateful to have had the opportunity to intern for that organization. It has actually held me to my current fall internship with a partnering organization.