The HACU National Hispanic Internship Program

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What is HNIP?

The HACU National Internship Program (HNIP) recruits college students for paid summer- and semester-long internships at federal agencies and private corporations in Washington, DC, and throughout the country. These ten- and 15-week internship programs give college students direct experience in a variety of careers in the federal and corporate sectors.

Round-trip airfare is arranged and provided at no charge to federal interns. Interns who receive prior approval to arrange their own transportation will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses. Corporations will work with interns to make housing and travel arrangements whenever applicable. Federal interns can also choose to arrange their own housing. However, as a service to the interns, HACU can assist in securing housing that is affordable, furnished, and near public transportation. Federal interns pay for housing through payroll deductions.

HNIP began in 1992 with 24 interns. Since then, HNIP has become the largest Hispanic internship program in the nation, placing thousands of college students in rewarding and challenging internships nationwide. HNIP matches internship assignments with students’ majors and career goals, helping them develop professionally. In the past, interns have enhanced their professional skills through placements in departments of public affairs, accounting, human resources, and information technology, as well as laboratories, hospitals, airports, and national forests and parks. Some intern assignments have included completing and analyzing research, writing speeches, conducting audits, performing land surveys, creating Web pages, conducting community health surveys, and developing outreach strategies for under-served populations.

In 2009, the HNIP program placed 675 interns in more than 30 federal agencies and private corporations. These students represent the Latino community’s brightest young minds and the next generation of Latino leaders.

Proven Track Record

Based on formal program evaluations from students and supervisors, the HACU National Internship Program boasts a proven track record in positively addressing the underrepresentation of Hispanics in the private- and public-sector workplaces. Hispanics now make up one in every three new workers in the overall workforce, and by 2025, they are projected to make up one in every two new workers. HNIP provides a vital opportunity to address the historic underrepresentation of Hispanics in many career fields. HNIP interns and supervisors were recently surveyed about their experience:

  • Ninety-four percent of the students surveyed stated that their internships enabled them to make more educated career decisions.
  • Ninety-eight percent of the supervisors surveyed stated that they would host an HNIP intern again, and 93 percent stated that they would hire their intern if given the opportunity.

HNIP serves not only the students, but also the participating agencies and corporations who hope to increase diversity in their workforce by providing these internships to high-achieving Hispanic students. Internships create a pipeline of future employees who have had positive, meaningful work experiences.


This article was written by Hannah Purnell

Hannah Purnell is a staff writer for Hannah writes extensively on the topic of undergraduate studies and the college search process.

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