Amanda Cadena and Carlos Rodriguez, both students at The University of Texas-Pan American, will be spending their summer working behind the scenes at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to ensure the financial safety of depositors across the country.
Both Cadena and Rodriguez were selected to participate in a six-month internship with the FDIC Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), which starts in June and ends in December. Cadena will be headed to an Oklahoma City, Okla. field office while Rodriguez will travel to Memphis, Tenn. They were two of 16 students chosen from top universities to participate in SCEP.
In Memphis, Rodriguez, a senior finance major from Edinburg, said he will be shadowing different FDIC bank regulators through bank examinations.
"I'll be learning the ins and outs of risk management through multiple bank examinations and basically be training for the actual job upon graduation, as an FDIC member informed me," Rodriguez said.
As for Cadena, a senior management major, she will be interning in the risk management division performing insured depository institution examinations.
"I will be working with examiners as a student trainee and doing extensive traveling to different institutions. I will be trained to do the basic duties of an examiner and work closely with trained individuals to learn how to perform examinations. I am eager to learn all I can about the FDIC and all that it entails," she said.
Cadena, who also maintains a high GPA and is a McAllen native, said there was no way she was going to pass up the opportunity to work for the FDIC.
"This internship means so much to me because I believe it can open so many doors for me and challenge me in new ways. I know that it won't be easy but I think that's what is so great about it. I look forward to these new challenges and pushing myself to build a great work ethic. I want to make my family and my university proud," she said.
The SCEP is one of two components of the FDIC Student Educational Employment Program developed to attract talented students to federal public service. SCEP allows students to earn money while combining their academic study with on-the-job experience. In addition, the program offers students two options: a 10-week summer internship and a summer and fall six-month internship.
"I chose the six-month option because you get to spend more time with the company, have plenty of time to understand the material, and even more time to make a good impression on the people who work there. Even though the six-month option delays my graduation date by a semester, I know it was the right choice because this is just one of those opportunities you don't pass up," he said.
Cadena and Rodriguez are set to graduate from UTPA in summer 2011 and both said they would like to see the SCEP venture turn into a permanent job with FDIC.
"I look forward to meeting new contacts and networking to hopefully turn this experience into a career once I have graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American," Cadena said.
"Many students graduate and look for a job. I plan to graduate and have a job waiting for me. I'm going to do my best to impress them over there in Memphis so that they don't let me pass on by without offering me a job," Rodriguez added.
Eric Guyot, FDIC supervisory examiner and corporate recruiter for the Dallas/Memphis region, said he has been traveling to the campus for more than two years to recruit students from business-oriented majors into SCEP through the UTPA Office of Career Services. He said he is always impressed with the caliber of students he encounters on the Edinburg campus.
"I have recruited at a lot of different colleges across the country and what impresses me most about UTPA students is their maturity level. That is what sticks in my mind. They are very mature compared to their peers elsewhere," Guyot said.
Guyot, who works out of the Memphis field office, will be working with Rodriguez and showing him the inner workings of being a field examiner for the FDIC he said.
For Rodriguez and Cadena, their six-month internship will yield them a $37,000 salary and full benefits Guyot said. In addition, both students will be awarded a $2,500 bonus at the beginning of the internship to assist them with housing accommodations.
"To me the biggest benefit is that they get to test drive us to see if we are a fit for what they want to do after graduation," Guyot said.
If Cadena and Rodriguez are a good fit for the FDIC, both may be eligible for permanent placement upon completing their education and program requirements and receive a starting pay of $50,000 plus full benefits, Guyot said.
Guyot said this was the first time UTPA students accepted the internship offers. He said he often finds students turn down the internships because of their unwillingness to move out of the Rio Grande Valley. Guyot hopes to see more UTPA students apply in the future and take advantage of this opportunity.
"I really want to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and move to other locations, especially during these economic times when the job market is very competitive. It is very important to go where the opportunities are," Guyot said.
For more information on the Office of Career Services, visit http://dua.utpa.edu.