UTEP alumna advances students’ internship knowledge through InternMakers


Photo courstesy of Mariana Briones

Mariana Briones, 22, co-founded InternMakers to help students unfamiliar with internships get a foot in the door with employers.

Andrea Valdez-Rivas, Contributor

Mariana Briones dubs herself a “STEMinist” on her Instagram biography. The term often refers to women who work in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)It’s used by women who advocate for more women in STEM fieldsBriones is confident her workplace not only needs her, but other Latinas too. 

“(Companies are) not doing us a favor,” Briones said. “(Latinas) provide so much to their companies, so many different perspectives, so much work ethic.” 

The UTEP alumna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2020 and landed a job as a program manager at Microsoft 

Getting a job offer didn’t come easy, Briones said, as the tech corporation denied her the  first time she applied for a job, even after performing well during an  internship there. 

I also struggled with that a lot in getting a job—because of visa requirements,” said Brioneswho was an international student while at UTEP, frequently crossing the border from Ciudad Juárez to El Paso. 

Noticing a demand for international students seeking resume, cover letter, and internship advice, and those without full-time job offers at graduation time, led her to co-found InternMakers, alongside Alejandro Dávila, in June 2019 

“It was all about letting international students know that ‘you could make it, if we made it,” Briones said. “It was just sharing our knowledge.”  

Briones and Dávila share that knowledge on the InternMakers YouTube channel. In a 2019 video, Briones interviewed a Microsoft university recruiting manager on what the company looks for in job candidates. 

Their most popular videos are from aInternMakers series called “How I got Into.” They feature students’ stories on how they obtained internships from employers like Apple, Tesla, Google, ABC News, among others. As of now, the channel has nearly 2,000 subscribers.  

They’ve been popular on social media as well. 

 OTikTok, which is where we’ve really grown our audience, we’re almost getting to 40,000 (followers),” Briones said. 

But Briones is most proud of getting to do a workshop at a Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Young Women in Computing conference. The GHC is a series of conferences that connect women working in tech, all around the world.  This is where Briones let her passions in STEM and helping others merge. 

It was just a very handson workshop that we gave,” Briones said. “And then we started getting a lot of requests from people to host workshops from very different universities. 

But it took time to get InternMakers to what it is today. Briones wants to assure fellow women that eventually, they too will reach their career goals. 

You might be doing something right now, that you say doesn’t matter,” Briones said. “There are so many things that you’re going to start, and you don’t notice that eventually they will become something bigger. 

For students hesitant to apply to internships because of lower GPA’s or grades, Briones believes it’s important to be confident. 

“The reality is that we are more than just our grades and majors,” Briones said. “Push through that rough path.”  

Students interested in receiving help with interviews, resumes, and internship information can visit internmakers.com. 

Andrea Valdez-Rivas may be reached at [email protected].edu; @AndreaVRNews on Twitter.