Major: Biological Sciences
Semester in which you participated: Spring 2018
Internship: I interned on Capitol Hill with Representative Dr. Raul Ruiz. As a pre-health student I wanted to experience what it was like to work for a congressman with a medical background. As a congressional intern, I would help a lot with organizing tours, handling constituent services, and conducting legislative research for the staff on various bills. This internship expanded my narrow view on medicine and helped me discover the field of health policy.
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Why did you choose the UCDC Program?
I wanted to try something new and learn more about government especially during a time
when the nation’s political climate was very unsettling for minorities and healthcare. In addition,
being able to work and go to school in Washington D.C. was a once in a lifetime experience.
This definitely helped me to go out of comfort zone and realize that I am able to live away from
home if the opportunity arises.
What was the highlight of your semester in DC?
The highlight of my semester in D.C. was definitely attending the Supreme Court hearing
for Janus v. AFSCME. Seeing all the justices that I was learning about in class in person is
something I will carry with me forever. Also, I had the opportunity to attend the congressional
hearing for Mark Zuckerberg during the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
What advice would you give students considering the program?
As a biology major I was discouraged by both myself and others within my field to attend
the UCDC program. However, if you plan on going on to graduate school this experience will
definitely make you stand out from other applicants. The network you make here opens so
many doors for possible opportunities in the future. And just being in the capital exposes you to
so much history and rich culture just in the district alone.
What did you do in your own time while in DC?
I was fortunate enough to go to most of the free Smithsonian museums and also various
cultural events. In addition, being able to explore the various neighborhoods in D.C. was very
interesting. I was able to visit a historically Latino sector of the district and was able to immerse
myself in Cuban and Puerto Rican culture which was something different for me, a Mexican-
American from California. Also, my trip to Philadelphia was an incredible experience where I
was able to go to Independence Hall and visit the Rocky Balboa steps.