LMU Senior Gets International Trade Experience at L.A. Mayor’s Office
Political science courses provide students with fundamental theories, and Loyola Marymount University senior Daniel Gonzalez took those theories and applied them in Los Angeles’ political scene. This past summer, the political science major worked as an intern in the L.A. mayor’s Office of International Trade.
Gonzalez’s responsibilities included research and business planning, and meeting with dignitaries such as the governor of Baja California. He wrote briefings for Mayor Villaraigosa, created PowerPoint presentations for foreign investors and collected polling data.
“I was always learning something new, by far the best internship I have had. It harnessed my skills and exposed me to the political life and allowed me to network with powerful and influential people,” explained Gonzalez. “The biggest skills I gained were the more practical ones — better communication skills and the ethics of working in a professional environment.”
Gonzalez acted as a liaison for his supervisor, Dario Gomez, director of the Office of International Trade, by attending meetings with the United States - Mexico Chamber of Commerce. The group was planning an inaugural international trade expo and needed a location for the event. Gonzalez suggested LMU and diligently worked with the university’s Office of Community and Government Relations to make that possible. The event last fall drew more than 200 guests from the international trade community.
“Danny was a superb addition, he added a lot of value to our office and has a bright future in international trade. His studies at LMU were put to use well here,” says Gomez.
Gonzalez is a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity and has served as a resident advisor for the past two years. He is a board member of the Mexican Professional Network and volunteers with Dolores Mission’s mentoring program in Boyle Heights. His leadership and academic performance have led to multiple scholarships including the Mexican American Alumni Scholarship and the Jesuit Community Scholarship.
“LMU helped me construct a strong work ethic, and provided me with the necessary resources,” Gonzalez said. “My studies from various classes combined with seminars presented by the Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles on topics ranging from race relations to the effects of the L.A. port on the economy were the foundation of my political interest.”
Gonzalez plans to pursue a career in Latin American international trade and has a word of advice for his peers: “Get an internship! Experience is needed to back up the degree.”
[Photo: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa poses with intern and LMU senior Daniel Gonzalez]