December 5, 2023
Experience, work skills and leadership development for public sector work goal of program
The City of McAllen and St. Mary’s University have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide internship opportunities at the municipal organization for St. Mary’s students from the Rio Grande Valley.
The purpose of the program is to provide students with work-related experience in their chosen field of study or anticipated career field. While the goal is for students to use their skills to become more adept in and prepared for the workforce, the City of McAllen also hopes to develop a future workforce for municipal government in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley.
“I am very excited about this unique partnership that the City of McAllen has developed with St. Mary’s University,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E. “A career in municipal government is not only rewarding, but also truly a way to give back to the community in which one lives. Working in the public sector aligns with the St. Mary’s mission of the servant leader, and I am proud the City of McAllen will be able to offer that opportunity for students from McAllen and throughout the Rio Grande Valley who wish to come back and make a difference as interns and, hopefully, as alumni as well.”
Aside from providing a paid internship in the students’ disciplines, the City of McAllen also hopes to develop leadership, mentoring and meaningful work skills for the interns. The internship is open to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as students from the St. Mary’s University School of Law.
Multiple academic fields of study can be accepted, including: Communications, Marketing, Business, Criminal Justice, Criminology, Forensic Science, Sociology, History, International and Global Studies, Math, Data Analytics, Computer Science, Engineering, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Jurisprudence.
“As part of our Catholic and Marianist mission, St. Mary’s University is dedicated to helping students discover their purpose and vocation,” said Stephanie Ward, Ph.D., St. Mary’s Vice Provost for Student Success and Vocation. “This partnership enables St. Mary’s to connect students with valuable opportunities in McAllen, gain experience necessary to lead fulfilling careers and contribute to the workforce of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.”
Stephanie Ward, Ph.D.
“This partnership enables St. Mary’s to connect students with valuable opportunities in McAllen, gain experience necessary to lead fulfilling careers and contribute to the workforce of one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.”
Many degree programs at St. Mary’s University require internships. However, for students from the Rio Grande Valley, unpaid or minimum-wage internships may pose a financial challenge for students to afford to live in San Antonio while participating in an internship program. The partnership with the City of McAllen will allow these Rio Grande Valley students to return home while interning, gaining meaningful experience and a competitive wage and/or class credit, to help them as they work toward their degree.
A recent Census study showed that, after graduation, students from the Rio Grande Valley return home at a rate of 70%, more than students from any other area in the state.