Intern wraps up two degrees
Braulio Munoz-Buentello

May 2004  - A Newsletter for the Employees of the Department of Management and Budget (iDMB)

In 2003, Braulio Munoz, CMU master of public administration graduate student, received an outstanding graduate paper award and a $750 scholarship from American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Later this week, Braulio Munoz-Buentello will participate in two commencement ceremonies. At Central Michigan University, he will receive his master's degree in public administration, and at Michigan State University, he will participate in the law school's commencement exercises. And next week he will return to work in DMB's Agency Services.

This semester Munoz-Buentello has been an intern in state government. He will continue working in Agency Services until fall, when he officially will be finished with his law school coursework.

Before he came to DMB, Munoz-Buentello already had worked in state and federal government, but those employers were in his native Mexico.

Munoz-Buentello, who is 29, spent two years in an auditing office for the Mexican state of Coahuila and three years as the administrative assistant to the assistant director of the federal police in Mexico City.

He earned his undergraduate degree in law from the University of Coahuila. His sister's experience in an exchange program with CMU interested him in study in Michigan. He hopes to combine the knowledge he gained in his study of public administration and law with the experience he is obtaining in state government and apply it to government work in Mexico.

"We follow the same processes," he said of governments in Mexico and the United States, "but not in the same way. Being here - inside - I'm learning how the state of Michigan conducts these processes and what practices can be transferred."

A major difference between the countries is Mexico's use of the patronage system - the system in which bosses hire employees based on family ties or political rewards. Munoz-Buentello's master's thesis focused on civil service reform and recommended adoption of a law to create a civil service system at the state level in Mexico.
As an intern in Agency Services, he has worked with the many phases of the bidding process and helped to draft contracts. He has met with vendors to gather information, drafted invitations to bid or requests for proposals, and learned about administration of ongoing contracts. Dave Ancell and Steve Cheal have served as his internship supervisors.

"My supervisors are helping me to learn and understand," he said, "which is great."

Although he has drafted his resume and soon will be looking for permanent employment, he's not sure if his next position will be in Mexico or the United States. He is married to a Michigander, and they haven't decided where the next stage of their life will take them. He and his wife Julie Fortino, who is a CMU employee, have a son, Marco, who is nine months old.

Wherever his already extensive career takes him, Munoz-Buentello's internship experience will surely enhance his skills.