The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Notes from the Field: Nicole Castillo '17

Nicole Castillo '17 interned at the Washington Office on Latin America in Washington, D.C.

Nicole Castillo '17 researching and analyzing current issues for Latin America. 

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Nicole Castillo interned at the Washington Office on Latin America during the 2016 Summer Term. The following is a brief recap of her experience in her own words.

As a research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) partners with regional organizations and individuals, researches and analyzes current issues, and advocates for Latin America in a U.S. context.

As a foreign policy intern with the Mexico team this summer, I was constantly translating commentaries and press releases, writing memos, attending events related to the focus of my team, tracking press hits, and supporting in daily administrative tasks. Throughout my internship, I was exposed to the leading experts and institutions on Latin American issues.

This experience deepened my knowledge of what advocacy looks like in DC, something that I had not been exposed to previously. Washington is home of many think tanks and research organizations, WOLA takes all of that one step further and advocates. Through meetings with Congress, staffers, the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, etc. the work that WOLA does on the ground ends up changing policy. I had the opportunity to be a part of that advocacy cycle by escorting our visitors to many of those offices as well as making congressional calls and setting up appointments for my team.

Working at WOLA made me realize the importance of language skills and real life regional experience. As a direct result of this experience, I now know that after graduation I want to pursue my Arabic skills further by moving to Morocco for a year or two. 

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