La Voz de Nuestros Lideres: Natalia Valencia, LULAC National Intern
Posted on 10/21/2011 @ 02:50 PM
My name is Natalia A. Valencia and I’m a recent graduate from American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Studies and a certificate in Spanish Translation. Like many recent graduates, I was faced with the decision of what to do next and which road to take.
Unfortunately, the state of the economy and the job market has made the search for what one truly wants in life – which for me is to be a translator – a lot harder. My lack of work experience didn’t help me either with finding a job and I finally understood that an excellent education is not the only thing you need to catch the eye of a potential employer.
Because I couldn’t find any full time jobs, besides babysitting, I decided to volunteer my translation skills to Hispanic organizations in the area. I knew this would give me the experience that I need it, while at the same time helping the community. During these volunteer experiences, I translated four articles for the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, and I also began to help the communications committee of a newly formed non-profit organization called Somos Colombia.
While I was searching for other organizations, I came across LULAC. It was the first time I had heard of this organization, but, as I kept reading more about it, my interest grew. I took a chance and I sent an e-mail to someone at LULAC to see if they had a position available. Although they didn’t have any, they did have an internship program. I didn’t hesitate to accept it because I knew that what I would learn there would be invaluable. I started my internship in September and, after a month of being at LULAC, I have not only helped with the translation of different documents, but I’m also learning about different topics that are important to the Hispanic community in the United States. I still have 2 months left with LULAC and I plan to make the best of them.
I want to keep learning about the different programs and do things that I wouldn’t normally do (for example: writing a blog), and help the Hispanic community as much as I can with my work during this internship. I may not have my whole life figured out at the moment, but I know that I’m on the right path. Being a translator is my ultimate goal: how I get there is still a mystery but I’m looking forward to unveiling it one opportunity at a time.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the country's oldest and largest civil rights organization, recruits highly talented and dedicated interns year-round to work with our national office in Washington D.C. Interns can choose to collaborate with any one of the following departments: policy, programs, communications, membership, special events, development, fiscal or executive. For more information, or to apply for a LULAC internship, click here to learn more!