Intern Spotlight: Jasmin Ortiz, Library of Congress Internships Program (LOCI) Intern

On this blog, we plan to regularly feature the interns whose hard work positively impacts the Library. Today’s interview is with a participant in the Library of Congress Internship program (LOCI). 

A portrait photograph of Jazmin Ortiz

Jasmin Ortiz, Spring 2021 LOCI Intern. Photo by Michael Moody/CSUSB

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in East Los Angeles (East LA), California. Being able to grow up in a community like East LA—where my culture, native language, authentic cuisine and celebrations are daily being represented—is such a privilege. Coming from East LA has shaped who I am, as it has developed a sense of identity, gratitude and pride to be who I am.

During my free time, I volunteer for a women’s empowerment organization called Mujeron Movement, where we empower Latina women to achieve their full potential. Additionally, I enjoy blogging about my foodie experiences around LA and my local and international travels.

 

What is your academic/professional history?

Being a first-generation college student has shaped who I am. I am a first-generation masters graduate. I attended California State University, Los Angeles, where I received a bachelor of arts in sociology with a minor in communication studies.

Throughout my undergraduate experience, I was highly involved in on-campus activities and on-campus jobs. I was the co-founder and chapter president of a student organization, the National Society of Leadership and Success, where I received mentorship and guidance to apply for a master’s program.

In 2019, I graduated from Michigan State University with a master of arts in higher education administration and a certificate in Chicana/o studies. In Michigan, I learned about the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and many other Latino organizations that continue to help graduate students.

 

How would you describe your job to other people?

As a program assistant intern at the Internship and Fellowship Programs office of the Library of Congress, I am sharpening my professional program management skills and learning about human resources projects. I plan to utilize the skills that I am learning to further my professional career within the areas of program management or human resources.

I support the program management of key internship programs that include Junior Fellows Program (JFP); Library of Congress Internships (LOCI), and the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced (AHHA) Internship program.

I also help IFP expand access to experiential learning at the Library, enhance user experiences online and onsite through broader outreach, and identify how to better promote the Library’s many fellowship, internship, residency and volunteer opportunities to target communities.

 

Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?

Not only did my background in higher education and experience in program management make me a great fit for the position, but what mostly interested me about interning at the Library of Congress was being able to work alongside program managers on different projects and programs that enhance the experience of interns across the nation. I always enjoy seeing the process of people learning and growing professionally. The impact that some programs can have on folks is way beyond a presentation, and that is what I really enjoying being a part of.

 

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Library of Congress?

An interesting fact that I have learned about the Library of Congress is that there are so many resources available for everyone’s interest. Initially, when I thought about the Library of Congress, I thought about a regular library with simply just books.

However, throughout this internship I have enjoyed learning that there are programs, events, and resources for everyone. One of my favorite resources from the Library is about a Latino poet who writes poetry in Spanish and highlights the Latino culture in his poetry. There is a series called La Casa de Colores, which is my favorite and very relatable to my personal background.

 

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

Not a lot of people know that I’ve done solo traveling to Thailand. I also participated in a study abroad program in Japan, and spent time in Kyoto. I spent my time researching Japanese higher education institutions and comparing them to American ones. I was also able to engage with local students and professors, and we both created presentations about U.S. and Japanese colleges’ similarities and differences. Due to the pandemic, I have not done much traveling, but when possible, I want to continue solo traveling exploring different cultures and languages, and learning from each other.

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