Rebecca Horton '19
The Value of the IS Major
Sometimes I cannot believe how quickly the past year and a half has flown by since I left Boston College, or just how much has changed in that short timeframe of eighteen months. In a matter of weeks following graduation last spring, I found myself shedding the student identity I had known for years and stepping into the strange new reality of “full-time working adult.” With that new title came a world of growth, responsibility and opportunity that I never would have imagined possible in my first real job.
I always knew I wanted to enter a profession where I could help others and achieve a sense of personal purpose. These ambitions eventually drew me towards the law. After deciding to take a year or two off before law school, I was excited to learn about the Project Analyst Program, which offered a two-year rotational experience across different practice areas at Mintz. It was important for me to work in an environment where I had exposure to various legal sectors and could seek out challenging and interesting work. My time at Mintz has shown me the ins and outs of working at a large law firm, and has proven a great starting point for launching my career.
As a Project Analyst, I was able to dive head-first into cases and assignments from day one. While the learning curve was steep, I appreciated the quick trust and responsibility bestowed upon me from the outset. During my first two rotations in the Corporate and Immigration sectors, I have experienced everything from financings to visa applications. I love how varied my day-to-day workload is – one morning I may attend section meetings or draft a support letter for an O-1 visa application, and a few hours later volunteer at a legal clinic or prepare a research memo. Perhaps the most rewarding part of the job, though, has been the ability to contribute to pro bono cases and community service projects both inside and outside of the firm. This past winter, I was able to help a client pass her Naturalization interview and achieve US citizenship. I am currently working on another asylum case for a client who sought safety in the US after years of persecution in his native country. It is so powerful to witness the impact that the law can have in changing someone’s life for the better. These experiences continue to inspire and motivate me each day on the job.
I am incredibly grateful for the years of guidance and support from Boston College’s International Studies Program, and especially from my advisor, Professor Nakazato. From my very first Introduction to 'International Studies' course my sophomore year, I was consistently challenged to think critically and analyze the world around me. The many in-depth readings and discussions pushed me to tackle important topics and formulate clear ideas in both writing and conversation. Courses such as 'International Law' and 'Ethics, Religion and International Politics' encouraged me to pay attention to key issues and venture outside of BC and the US. The IS Program even helped lead me to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland my junior year, where I studied and worked in the presence of many international organizations.
Today, I feel more equipped to take on heavy research projects or participate in meaningful discussions as a result of my IS coursework. I strive to remain aware of various issues and world events so that I am better prepared to meet and connect with clients from all different backgrounds.
For students considering applying to the IS program, I cannot emphasize enough how great of an opportunity it is. There are so many doors that will open up to you after joining this program. Whether you choose to pursue a future in politics, law, or any of the hundreds of other professions out there, you will be ready to take on post-grad life. The IS courses and professors will shape you into a stronger student, more critical thinker, and most importantly, a better global citizen. You will be in great hands!