New Career Services director: ‘Internships are critical’


Madison Fantozzi and Raul Herrera/FIUSM Staff

Fernando Figueredo, Miami-Dade County’s director of communications and external affairs, will return to FIU as the new director of Career Services.

Figueredo used to serve as chair of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, before working for the county.

Assuming his new position April 14, Figueredo will work to grow employment opportunities for students.

He said he wants to “expand linkages with professional and corporate community of Miami.”

But it does not stop there. He mentioned attracting interest of multinational corporations. He hopes to “convince the multinational community as well as the corporate community that your FIU student has a strong work ethic and a strong commitment to work.”

He said he wants to show the corporate and global community that many students at FIU are low-income and hard working, “focusing very strongly on expanding opportunities within the community.”

Figueredo said helping students focus on their careers has been a passion of his, and that he plans to increase the University’s relations with local, national and multinational organizations.

“Internships are critical in that respect,” he said. Specifically, “international internships with multinationals overseas.”

“This will allow not only for an increase in student development, but also an increase in cultural development,” Figueredo said.

Associate Director of the Career Services Office Efigenia Gonzalez-Duran said she is looking forward to continuing to increase employer participation and internships.

She did say “it’s a little bit scary” though, given that she has been working in the office for 7 years and has gone through multiple directors.

She said Figueredo is qualified, however, because of his “extensive work with corporations.”

“I’m looking forward to what’s going to be different,” Gonzalez-Duran said.

Figueredo’s experience includes the development of public relations and ad campaigns with a global strategic communications focus for companies including AOL, AT&T, BellSouth, Ford, Hewlett Packard, MasterCard, Microsoft and Volkswagen.

He also said his experience in Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez’s office has increased his skills and networking.

Figueredo even started the Mayor’s Executive Internship with the Office of Engagement.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from University of Florida, a master’s in business administration from FIU and a doctorate in mass communications from the University of Seville in Spain.

While he commended the Career Services team led by Interim Director Ivette Duarte, he said he hopes to take their work a step further. He assumes the position on April 14.


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