UCLA and several other universities worked with the LA Mayor's Office of International Affairs to organize and host the series.
UCLA International Institute, April 8, 2021 —
In February and March 2021, the UCLA International Institute joined the LA Mayor’s Office of International Affairs
and an array of Los Angeles educational institutions in an “International Career Pathways Speaker Series
.” Originated by the LA Mayor’s Office of International Affairs under Deputy Mayor Nina Hachigian, the series was designed to inform students of color about international career paths and showcased professionals working in the private, government and nonprofit sectors.
Talks were held online at lunchtime every day for 10 business days, February 22 through March 5, and explored careers in such fields as law, defense, intelligence, trade and finance. Professionals of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds who work (or have worked) for organizations as varied as the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, Citigroup, American Airlines and the United Nations spoke about their careers and work experience, giving students a window into the range of careers available in the international sector.
Each talk was sponsored by a different college or university in Los Angeles, including UCLA (specifically, the Burkle Center for International Relations
and The Promise Institute for Human Rights
at the UCLA School of Law), California State University Northridge (CSUN), Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Mount St. Mary’s and the University of Southern California.
“This was the first series of its kind in Los Angeles,” said Alexandra Lieben, deputy director of the Burkle Center and the UCLA point person for the series. “The diversity of speakers and career pathways introduced students to possibilities that many may not have considered when contemplating international careers.
“The broad collaboration among academic institutions involved in the project was also a novel experience, one that we hope to repeat, either with a similar program next year or other initiatives that leverage the potential and diversity of students and institutions in our region — and advance our collective learning,” she continued.
A mixture of faculty and students at each university moderated individual talks, with CSUN providing the Zoom links and technical assistance needed to support the online events. A number of the talks drew well over 100 participants. Students had ample time to ask questions of the speakers following their presentations, allowing young people to obtain a better grasp of the scope of different careers and their attendant educational and skill requirements. (See speaker biographies below.)
The mayor’s office and the educational institutions involved in the International Career Pathways Speaker Series were heartened by positive student feedback on the series and hope to continue their collaboration to encourage students of color to pursue international careers.
Download speaker biographies here.