Best advice for a MIIS student today? Don’t be passive. Work with professors to design your own immersive learning projects, apply for funding, and get published. If you’re up for it, it’s a great way to do some hands-on learning that is a little more real world than perhaps a structured program.
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.
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.
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Confidence in Her Skills: Alumna Emily Hoang on the Frontline of the COVID-19 Response in Los Angeles
Emily Hoang, a 2020 graduate of the joint MPA/MA in International Education Management, has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response in Los Angeles, first helping to organize testing sites, and then vaccination efforts in the community.
To gain a better appreciation for the important role that language can play in intercultural communication and partnership-building, we spoke with Dr. Netta Avineri, TESOL and Teaching Foreign Language Associate Professor and Intercultural Competence Committee Chair.