Internship experience at the Embassy of El Salvador inspires Arkansas State University student to pursue a career in law and advocate for individuals in her home state of Arkansas.
Sara Ledesma, a senior at Arkansas State studying economics and political science, had the opportunity to intern at the Embassy of El Salvador during her spring semester at The Washington Center. From her first moments in the role, Sara was working directly with ambassadors, diplomats, members of Congress and more, advancing the embassy’s mission and advocating for immigrant and migrant rights. Her experience inspired her to attend law school this fall so that she can have the skills and credentials to better support individuals back home in Arkansas.
Where are you interning and what are some of your responsibilities there?
I had the honor of working at the Embassy of El Salvador as a political affairs intern. Some of my tasks included research on congressional legislation, scheduling and attending meetings with members of Congress, writing memos and bios on members of Congress, assisting with Embassy cultural events and more.
I would have never imagined I would be in a room with ambassadors from all around the world on my second day working at the embassy. I was instantly connected with so many people and it was a very exciting feeling knowing that diplomats saw my work!Sara Ledesma
Tell us about a project you worked on during your internship that was your favorite, the most challenging, or the most exciting.
One of the most exciting projects I worked on was a breakfast event hosted by the ambassador at the embassy. I was responsible for creating a reminder graphic for the event and assisting on-site, all on the second day of my internship. I would have never imagined I would be in a room with ambassadors from all around the world on my second day working at the embassy. I was instantly connected with so many people and it was a very exciting feeling knowing that diplomats saw my work!
How have you expanded your professional network during your time with TWC?
My professional network expanded in many ways during my time at TWC. Through my internship, I was able to meet people from different parts of the world and in different areas of diplomacy. This has allowed me to connect with people to serve as mentors, including my supervisor at the embassy and the professor of my academic course at TWC.
How has this experience impacted your career goals?
This experience has impacted my career goals in many ways. During my internship I worked closely on the topic of immigration and the way that it impacts people from all parts of the world. After hearing stories, reflecting on my own background and studying the issue in depth, I realized that I wanted to do more about it.
I applied for law school during my time at TWC, and I am excited to say that I will be starting in the fall. After law school, I hope to pursue immigration law, advocate for migrant rights and help those that are going through the immigration system.
It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Working, living and being immersed in the nation’s capital is an experience I will forever cherish.Sara Ledesma
How has the support of the Arkansas state scholarship expanded your opportunity via TWC and career exploration?
I am from a small city in the northeast of Arkansas and coming to Washington, D.C. was something I could have never imagined. Through the Arkansas state scholarship, I have been able to not only grow as a person but see different opportunities beyond what is available where I live. I am so thankful to have received the scholarship that has allowed me to experience different prospects, meet different people, and most importantly, to learn. I am excited to take it all back and apply it to law school and my future endeavors to better the state of Arkansas as a lawyer.
What advice do you have for students considering an internship with TWC?
Just do it! It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Working, living and being immersed in the nation’s capital is an experience I will forever cherish. The application process is super easy and the TWC staff members are there to help you every single step of the way.
Not only will you have the opportunity to work at your internship, but you’ll also have the chance to have in class instruction and professional development opportunities through TWC’s programming.
In addition to accessing all that Washington has to offer, you will meet people in TWC’s Residential Academic Facility (RAF) from across the nation and around the world and build lifelong memories with them. I promise you won’t regret it.
Let The Washington Center Help
Internships are one of the best ways to learn more about your industry, get hands-on experience under your belt and build a well-rounded skill set. As part of our Academic Internship Program, we partner with hundreds of internship sites around the country and will work closely with you to find the internship that best aligns with your career goals and interests.
Learn more about the Academic Internship Program.
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