| by Cassandra Otero IPD '20


Headshot of Cassandra Otero

Middlebury Institute graduates discuss where they are working today, how the Institute helped them get there, and what advice they’d give to current and future MIIS students.

My name is Cassandra Otero and I graduated with an MA in International Policy and Development (IPD) from the Middlebury Institute in 2020. My language of study was Spanish and I specialized in migration and global governance. I interned with Centro Legal de la Raza and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in Oakland, California, and am now a Mind Over Border Community Organizer at La Cocina in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Challenge yourself to think outside of the box and subvert your own expectations.
— Cassandra Otero MAIPD ’20

The career management course offered by the Center for Advising and Career Services as well as meetings with my advisor definitely helped a great deal. The language classes, including the interpretation courses I took, also helped me secure my current job.

Adapt Your Expectations and Career Goals

My advice for students is to regularly reflect on the field you wish to enter and consider which efforts you wish to contribute to and in what capacity. Once you have an idea of that, challenge yourself to think outside of the box and subvert your own expectations. I had my mind set on working for an immigration nonprofit and eventually found myself at an immigrant/Latinx-serving mental health organization. That is to say, I am still fulfilling my goals—just in a different way than I was initially expecting.