UHV student ready for virtual internship

A University of Houston-Victoria student will spend the summer gaining international business experience after being awarded a virtual internship with a German company.

Mayte Rios Lopez

Graduate student and Houston resident Mayte Rios Lopez will intern for, a Germany-based international brokerage for maritime transportation. She was placed with the company after receiving a scholarship through Virtual Internships, a website that helps high school and college students find internships with companies around the world. She was one of 10 students worldwide who received a scholarship.

“This is an exciting opportunity, and I am looking forward to using all my skills for this internship,” she said. “Even though the internship will be virtual, I know I will be able to learn and gain experience from working with an international company.”

Lopez will begin interning with on Monday. The company caught her attention because it is an overseas startup company. The biggest challenge Lopez expects is working in different time zones. Although she will be interning virtually and won’t be able to meet her co-workers in person, Lopez is excited to have an opportunity to work in the finance field.

Lopez is a student in the UHV School of Business Administration and is pursuing a Global Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance. She received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 2014 from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. That same year, she also earned a certificate in environmental sustainability development from the university, as well as a certificate in business ethics from Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid.

After graduating, Lopez moved to Ohio to work for Schlumberger. She worked in field operations for several years before moving to Wyoming and then Houston. Last year, however, she decided she would like to explore more office and finance-related careers as well as a future in management, so she made the decision to get a master’s degree. Lopez chose UHV because of its affordability and the online program’s flexibility.

Amy Hatmaker

Lopez discovered the virtual program after receiving an email from UHV Career Services promoting internships. UHV Career Services connects students with employers for hands-on job experiences and provides assistance with career planning and professional development, including preparing for interviews, writing resumes and learning business etiquette.

Career Services has an online electronic job board and will often send emails to students about new internship opportunities, Director Amy Hatmaker said. The Virtual Internships company helps provides internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as international students, who can have difficulty finding internships.

“These virtual internships are critical right now because so many businesses and employees around the world have to work remotely,” Hatmaker said. “Having the skills necessary to work with a team and an employer virtually is an important asset. We look forward to hearing about Mayte’s experience.”

UHV Career Services and International Programs have worked together to look for internship opportunities for UHV students after the pandemic caused challenges for students to secure internships, said International Programs Director Ludmi Herath. After Herath learned about the Virtual Internship company from other campuses and conducted research, the two decided to start promoting the company to students.

Ludmi Herath

“The Virtual Internship not only provides real-world experience, but students have the opportunity to complete a virtual internship at an organization outside of the U.S., allowing students the global perspective without ever leaving Texas or their home,” Herath said. “Students can now gain work experience and intern abroad experience to add global citizenship and global perspective to their resume or portfolio.”

Lopez expects to graduate with her master’s degree in 2022. She hopes to stay in the oil services field and use both her chemical engineering and financial skills in a new role.

“It is exciting to be living in Houston and working for a company in Europe,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for me to help a startup company and gain experience that also will help me after I get my degree.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Amber Aldaco