My name is Juliano Florio and I am currently a University of Illinois student participating in the Illinois in Washington program. I am currently interning at a small non-profit organization called Brazil Industries Coalition (BIC). Brazil Industries Coalition focuses on promoting and advancing relations, mainly economic, between the United States of America and Brazil. We, as an organization, represent many large companies that operate within both the United States’ and Brazilian private sectors. Some of the most important companies that we represent are large actors in the industries of aviation, mining, agriculture, textiles, and many more. I am currently one of four interns working at my firm and because of this I receive a lot of substantial work.
One of my favorite things that I do on a weekly basis is attend conferences or speeches on issues that are of importance to my firm. For certain issues my boss has instructed me to take notes on the event; however, I am usually free to simply sit and listen to the information and data that is presented. In addition to the conferences that my management sends me to, I am allowed to attend other events if the subject matter is of high interest to me personally. Other work activities include reading through large sets of information and condensing it into important briefs, monitoring important federal agencies for any new initiatives or updates, keeping in contact with valuable connections, and much more.
Lastly, and most importantly, my firm carries out a signature event every summer called Brazil on the Hill, which took much preparation to execute. This event brings together over 200 congressmen, think tank employees, business owners, lobbyists, and noteworthy guests. Fogo de Chao Brazilian steakhouse caters this event and all interns were allowed to participate in the event as guests and as workers. I met some very interesting individuals during this event and even got to take pictures with most of them. This was, so far, the highlight of my summer in D.C. and I even made many connections through the exchange of business cards.
As most students probably were, I was fairly nervous when initially applying for my potential internship positions out in D.C. I applied to over twenty positions and didn’t hear back from any for about two weeks. Eventually, I received five different internship offers and was able to pick the position that, I felt, was the best fit for me. If I could offer up some advice for future Illinois in Washington students, I would say to apply to as many positions as possible and don’t become disheartened when dealing with rejection. Another concern of mine when first looking into the Illinois in Washington program was being on my own out on the East Coast. I didn’t know any other students participating in this program and even attempted to convince one of my friends to apply with me. My friend decided not to apply and this made me slightly nervous; however, I am so glad that I decided to come out to D.C. and participate in this wonderful program. Over the last few weeks I have gotten to know the other students participating in the program and have become increasingly comfortable being out on the East Coast for the summer.