CAPAL Intern Spotlight Manuel Divino III ’21

What are your main responsibilities at your position? What are some of your big projects? (this can include projects at your internship, your specific CAP, etc) 

My main responsibility is updating our dense transaction databases, to ensure efficient workflow and better records for the USDA.

How does this internship fit with your professional and career goals? 

This internship is a great opportunity for me to familiarize myself with government filing systems and the kind of paperwork/transactions I will see throughout my professional career.

What do you hope to achieve this summer as a part of CAPAL’s 2021 cohort? 

I hope to sharpen some of my communication skills, especially as part of a team handling sensitive information. In addition, I’m very excited to connect with likeminded interns and mentors in similar fields.

What does public service mean to you? 

For me, public service is the responsibility to serve my community. My position allows me to aid critical functions of the USDA by protecting sensitive information and eliminating inefficiencies.

Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine, and if so, what are they?

Definitely taking care of houseplants. The best part of my mornings is watering my herbs and making sure they’re growing well.

What is one country/place you hope to travel to one day? 

South Korea, which is the focus of a lot of my work at college. My mother was adopted from Seoul, so there has always been a personal fascination for us with Korea. I was set to go before COVID-19 cancelled our trip, so I hope I will have a chance to visit someday soon.

What’s one interesting/surprising fact that a lot of people may not know about you? 

I think given that I’m an Asian studies major and do music on the side, most people are surprised that I also study Russian. It started as a class I took on a whim to fill a requirement, but after three years its become an important hobby of mine.

Meet all of our 2021 CAPAL Scholars & Interns here.