Leiden University logo.

nl en

Latin America

Read the stories of our alumni specialized in Latin America here.

Julia Hernandez

Alumni dreams #230

Julia kept coming back to International Studies as a study choice because she was not comfortable specializing in just one thing. Five years later looking back, she is very glad that she did. “I really got to explore so many different subjects during my bachelor. I chose to focus on Europe, as I am half Dutch but did not grow up in Europe.” 

During her time at International Studies, Julia was laser-focused on gathering as much knowledge as she could. As such, she participated in many things. She created a self-designed human rights curriculum as part of the Honors College, and also attended a summer school in London. She taught English, was a student ambassador, helped put together a TedX conference, and did an internship with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consulting firm. “There is something to say about pursuing a diverse array of activities when the option is there. I recommend it if you have the chance.”

Before graduating, she started to apply for different journalism jobs. Julia landed a job at a small news media start-up as a staff writer. However, after one year of working there she realized that journalism was not for her. She reached out to her former boss from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultancy firm, and began working there as a content developer. Because she needs to convey information about diversity, equity, and inclusion-related topics, Julia is constantly searching for new knowledge about social justice, organizational psychology, and human resources. “It keeps me on my toes and suits my goal of doing mission-oriented work.”

Currently, Julia is also pursuing a professional certificate in video production, as her thesis made her realize how important documentary film is to her. She hopes to incorporate this further into the work that she does. 

Great to see your continued efforts to keep on learning and evolving Julia, and we wish you all the best on your future career path!

Olivia Milani

Alumni dreams #231

Olivia has always been fascinated by Latin America, ever since she first visited the continent in 2009. Before starting in International Studies, she spent time in Ecuador with family, and lived in Cali, Colombia, to volunteer via a German government program called Weltwaerts at a rural school in 2015-2016. Wanting to know more about the region, she decided to start International Studies with a focus on Latin America. 

One of the highlights of her study were the area courses as well as the opportunity to learn Portuguese and thereby becoming fluent in both Portuguese as well as Spanish. "The BA equips you with a unique perspective which is informed by the four disciplines, as such, you get used to never just look for an explanation in one area but rather consider all complex interrelations and ways of influence. Even more important, it wants you to be critical about any kind of intervention and approach."

After completing her bachelor, Olivia pursued an MA in International Relations and Global Political Economy at Leiden University. During the MA, she was able to tailor her research in political economy to Latin America specifically. When she completed her master, she applied for a scholarship to attend an internship program through the German Academic Exchange Service. She was successful and ended up interning at UNAIDS in Lima, Peru. The organisation covers work in Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador. 

At the end of March (2023), she finished her internship and signed her independent consultancy contract with UNAIDS. She is thriving in her new role and could not be happier with her team. "I learned a lot and now know that I would like to specialize in working with vulnerable populations, migration and the management of streamlined responses to humanitarian emergencies." 

We champion your commitment to make a positive impact Olivia, keep up the great work!

This website uses cookies.  More information.