Cândido '11 Shares Experiences from His Internship at U.S. Embassy in the Philippines

Economics major worked alongside Ambassador Harry Thomas '78

When it comes to talking about his summer internship experience, Philippe Cândido ’11 has no shortage of impressive stories.

The economics major and Latin American & Latino Studies minor from Lowell, Mass., earned a prestigious placement through the Summer Internship Program. Under the guidance of Holy Cross alumnus Harry K. Thomas Jr. ’78, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Cândido worked for the United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy Manila Office of the Chief of Mission.

During his 10 week stint in the Philippines, Cândido gained valuable experience, worked directly with experts in international affairs, and explored another part of the world. Though he could talk about his time there for hours, here are his 10 highlights from the internship.

1. Working alongside Ambassador Thomas allowed for many rich experiences. By the end of the internship, Cândido looked to him as both a mentor and a father figure, an aspect of the internship for which he is particularly grateful. 2. He was one of just eight embassy workers selected by the ambassador to accompany him on his first meeting with Philippines President Benigno Aquino III. 3. Originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Cândido moved to America in 2000. During this internship, he was able to experience the process of getting a visa from “the other side” while giving tours in of one of the embassy offices. “It was hard for me to watch,” he said. “Seeing people who were looking for better opportunities in the United States, and some of them getting rejected, really made me appreciate [my citizenship].” 4. On Independence Day, he attended a reception held at the embassy and escorted VIP guests such as the Vice President Jejomar Binay of the Philippines and former President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagala Arroyo. Candido assisted in the planning and setting up of the event as well. 5. Cândido learned about the culture of the Philippines and what he calls “the beautiful history” between this country and the United States. 6. He went scuba diving with one of the friends he made in the embassy. He went on three dives which were 40 minutes each in Anilao Beach, Batangas. 7. This was the first time Cândido lived completely on his own, and he says it was a wonderful growing experience. “I made so many good friends while I was there,” he noted. “With Skype, Facebook and [other resources], it’s very easy to keep in touch.” 8. He backpacked through Asia, hitting Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau. While there, he rode an elephant and watched the World Cup finals, among other experiences. 9. Traveling with the ambassador exposed him to several sites in the Philippines. Baguio, Tarlac, and Corrigidor Island. Candido was able to take in the beautiful landscape while observing the ambassador’s communication with those in the country. 10. Some things he just can’t discuss. Though just an intern, Cândido worked on important diplomatic projects for the Ambassador.

By Mary Moczula ’11

Pictured: Philippe Candido ’11 spent his summer interning for Harry K. Thomas Jr. ’78, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines.