student Spotlight

November Student Spotlight with Claudia Huerta MIA ‘20


Why make the transition from private sector to public? In this month’s student spotlight, we speak with MIA student Claudia Huerta about her transition, the MIA experience, and her interests in women’s rights and other issues.

How is the Marxe School helping you transition from the private sector to public?
My whole objective in going to the Marxe School was to transition from the private to public sector. The Marxe School thus far has done a great job at helping make this possible. The professors are great at teaching us the ropes of the sector, the student centers do a great job of organizing networking events, and the students in our major, MIA, have also been great at helping on another. It's a really deep, holistic way of getting all students involved in the public sector. Most importantly, I'll be moving to Washington DC this fall as part of the Washington Semester, which allows me to work in the public sector while Baruch pays for my housing. It's a fantastic opportunity given to us by the Marxe School and I'm so pleased to be a part of it!

What are the benefits of this transition and why did you decide to make this move?
The Marxe School has a fantastic faculty, student community, and amenities for really affordable tuition. I was looking for all of these elements in my future graduate school, so it's so nice to have found it all. I'm thrilled to have made this decision!

Why did you choose the Master of International Affairs program? What do you want to do with your degree?
I've always loved working with international teams and thinking of the big, international picture in my jobs. In my current job, I'm in the private sector, but I wanted to shift to work in a field that allowed me to help others for a living. The MIA major allowed me to do all of these things in a great school. My dream is to work with an international non-governmental organization that works to promote economic development, women's right, or refugee protections. These are all passions of mine, and the MIA degree at the Marxe School is helping to make this possible.

What got you interested in women’s rights and refugee advocacy?
My parents are both immigrants from countries where they could have easily been refugees. Their path here, and all that they went through, has been inspiring to me. And yet I know that as hard that was for them, there are millions of people around the world who have had even more incredibly difficult paths to safer lives all because of situations that they had no say in. Even when you think of refugee protections from a more pragmatic point of view, it makes no sense (to me) to have millions of people seeking safe shelter and employment held in places that are also unsafe and offer no opportunity. The world is a better place when everyone has a fair shot at contributing to their community and getting a chance to thrive. I think of women's rights in a similar way – it's illogical that 50% of the world's population is held back from achieving their full potential simply because of their gender. There's millions of lost opportunities because of these two issues!