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Local students reflect on city internships

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Tre Acevedo and Mande Hudson reflect on their internships with the city of Roswell in the engineering department’s conference room on Wednesday morning. (Alison Penn Photo)

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After the city of Roswell announced its summer internships at City Hall in June, two students were selected for paid positions in the finance and engineering departments.

Born and raised Roswellians, Mande Hudson and Tre Acevedo agreed it was a learning experience to see the inner-workings of their city and this was their first internship experience.

Hudson, 21, said it seemed like a great opportunity to get her foot in the door after seeing the article in the newspaper. Adding his opinion, Acevedo, 18, said it was a chance to learn something and test the waters.

Acevedo interned this summer from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday through Friday) with the city’s finance department as they prepared the 2019 fiscal year’s budget. Hudson spent the same hours for three days a week with the engineering department.

For their responsibilities and activities, Acevedo said he assisted finance staff with time-intensive tasks that had potential to be frustrating if there were any errors on his part. Hudson said she helped with organizing, worked with Excel spreadsheets, put contract books together, attended bid meetings and anything else Glenda Allen, her staff liaison, needed. Both interns shared they had some prior experience with office skills.

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Acevedo, 18, graduated from Roswell High School this year and was involved in a business club for three years during his high school career. Acevedo is attending Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell and is deciding on his degree path. He said his mother is a hairstylist, his father is a city employee, and he has multiple siblings.

Hudson interned with the engineering by working with Glenda Allen as her staff liaison. Hudson, 21, is in her last year of New Mexico Tech and is studying mechanical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering. During high school, Hudson said she played volleyball and participated in Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Achievement (MESA) and track at Goddard High School — where she graduated in the class of 2015. Hudson’s mother teaches at Goddard currently and her father is a businessman.

Both interns agreed that their internships were a chance to test out potential careers. Acevedo said he would prefer to do something less office-oriented and is still testing the waters.

Though her studies are taking her on another engineering route, Hudson said she enjoyed the exposure to the civil engineering process for projects and bids.

“I have a new respect for this type of engineering,” she said. “I wouldn’t say that I want to go into it, but I liked the different things I learned here and the people skills. Teamwork with other people is a big part of engineering, so I still got to exercise those skills.”

When asked what the most surprising part of the internship was, Acevedo said he did not realize the amount of money in the city. Hudson said she was surprised at how busy the city engineers were and their workloads.

The interns also said working for any municipality in the future is not necessarily a preference, but would be a consideration.

“Just listening to what people say — their conversations, if you hear it, it seems like they’re all doing a pretty good job,” Acevedo said about observing city officials and staff during his internship.

Acevedo said he noticed that the city employees were doing a good job and talked as if they really cared about their jobs. He encouraged other high school students to look into internships, experience it and see if they like it. Hudson said she also worked briefly with the IT intern Charisa Nolan who had to return back to school before the interview.

Hudson thanked the staff for bringing her on their team and Acevedo thanked the finance department for the experience.

“People recommend doing internships to put on your resume, but it’s really so that you can defer the difference between book work and actually being out in the workplace. It’s good to have that experience before you graduate,” Hudson said.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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