Tell us about your current position as a Fulbright Fellow at Mexican Conservation Fund (Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza).
Apart from general development and fundraising duties, I specifically support the project "Golden Eagle, Man and Nature (Águila real, hombre y naturaleza)." The project aims to rescue Mexico's national symbol, the Golden Eagle, which is currently on the verge of extinction in Mexican territory. Biologist and photographer Fulvio Eccardi directs the project.
It is a unique conservation project that combines multimedia communication initiatives and traditional scientific conservation strategies to achieve its objectives. The long-standing presence of the Golden Eagle in Mexican national and popular identity provides an ideal medium to fuse culture and conservation into a single message about the Golden Eagle and its importance in a Mexican habitat.
As a Fulbright Fellow, I support Mr. Eccardi in everything from the development of grant proposals to the translation of his book about the Golden Eagle from Spanish into English. It is a real pleasure to work on the project and get to interact with such unique and passionate individuals.
Tell us a little more about your Fulbright Fellowship and your experience abroad.
Originally born in Mexico City, my family moved to San Diego when I was four. The move from Mexico City was a transformative event in my life, and one that continues to have an impact on the present. I had always imagined a return to Mexico City to gain a deeper understanding of my cultural heritage and to cultivate oral and written bilingual skills in Spanish.
I am currently in Mexico City participating in the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Binational Business program. The Binational Business Program is unique among all other Fulbright programs as the program seeks to strengthen understanding between the U.S. and Mexican business communities. The main focus of the program is to give U.S. students the opportunity to acquire professional experience by interning at a company or NGO in Mexico. In addition, this Program requires grantees to take graduate courses in business.
"For an undergraduate who has strong writing skills, creative problem solving methods and likes to interact with all types of people, a career in non-profit administration is something to consider."
Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros
Why is a liberal arts education an important foundation?
A liberal arts education promotes critical thinking and diverse perspectives through the exploration of philosophical thought, historical context and the communication of these ideas through the medium of literature. My degree has served me well in learning to analyze and synthesize information, communicate effectively in written and oral form, problem solve in group settings and appreciate literary composition, as well as the arts in general. I feel I have excelled professionally because of this degree and the value of world perspectives it afforded me.
The arts taught me to communicate abstract and complicated ideas, as well as keep an academic and professional focus orientated towards community. When you study the humanities, the knowledge of the world humbles you.
What are your goals for the future?
I recently applied and was accepted to a master's in Library and Information Science program at the University of Syracuse. In short, I plan to be a librarian. After many years working in the non-profit sector, it has become clear to me that information and access to opportunities and resources is often the difference between the haves and have-nots. I believe the library system provides one of the most powerful platforms for community outreach and mutual exchange of information between academia, students and underrepresented minority groups.
I am very excited to finally, after many years of searching, find a profession that will allow me to satisfy all my personal and professional goals. I start my MLIS program in the Fall of 2011 and will be moving to Upstate New York to the little town of Auburn, population 25,000.
"I feel I have excelled professionally because of this [liberal arts] degree and the value of world perspectives it afforded me."
Pamela Espinosa de los Monteros
What advice do you have for undergraduate students who are thinking about working for non-profits?
The non-profit industry can provide a very rewarding professional career beyond the area of social service. For me, the most rewarding area of non-profit work has been fomenting the connection between the private sector and public sector. Working in development and fundraising, I am consistently exposed to the generosity of the community and the hard social problems and realities that some of our population face. Both are important perspectives to keep in mind.
For an undergraduate who has strong writing skills, creative problem-solving methods and likes to interact with all types of people, a career in non-profit administration is something to consider. Professionally, my non-profit career has taken me to the offices of some of the most important executives in two countries, where I have been given a platform to advocate for a particular cause. I have also been able to interact with real doers in diverse fields who have initiated new enterprises and community projects, truly changing people's lives.
- Anne Malinoski '11