by Bette Benson (LACIS Social Media/Outreach Intern, BA, LACIS, Pol Sci, & Intl Stud ’15)
Every year, LACIS distributes grant money to qualified undergraduate students from any major or discipline in order to help those students complete an internship or volunteer program in Latin America, the Caribbean, or Iberian Peninsula. Domestic programs are eligible if the work is related to the LACIS field of study. Spanish, LACIS, and International Studies major Alexandra Morgan, a soon to be graduate (December 2015), took advantage of the LACIS Internship Grant to intern as the Economic/Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Intern with the US Department of State in Mexico City for four month where she focused on the economies of Mexico and US-Mexican relations.
I spoke to Alex about her experience, and this is what she had to say:
What were some of your duties? Did you have a central project you worked on? For my duties, I researched and drafted cables on labor and environmental issues. I also did some speechwriting, helped arrange meetings, and worked on a tourism promotion plan.
Did you enjoy this opportunity? I absolutely loved working for the Dept. of State. It really deepened my knowledge of Mexico, and U.S.-Mexico relations, and it offered great mentorship possibilities within the Foreign Service. I not only learned more about work as a public servant, but found a possible future career as well!
What are a few things you learned? I really deepened (having known nothing before) my knowledge of Mexico’s intellectual property law, as well as the current changes to the Attorney General’s Office. Foreign Service Officers have to keep up to date with the news, and it was great to work in a fast-paced environment that places an emphasis on data synthesis.
How has the LACIS major helped prepare you for this experience? LACIS provided me the background knowledge of Spanish and Latin America necessary to get this internship in the first place, and it also allowed me to have a more general understanding of Latin American economics. The class I took spring of my sophomore semester, The Economics of Latin America, with Professor Bradford Barham has really shaped the rest of my undergraduate career. Before, I was more interested in the political side, but the class shifted my interests. My internship only deepened my interest in economics.
How did this experience impact your future goals? This internship definitely impacted my future goals. I’ll be taking the Foreign Service Officer Test this fall, with the hope of ultimately joining the Foreign Service after college.
What an amazing experience, Alex! LACIS is excited to see where your passion and skills will take you in the future!
If you’re interested in the LACIS Internship Grant, check out the application process HERE