Francisco Ojeda

Major: Political Science - Public Service

  • Internship: American Bar Association - Commission on Immigration

 Tell us about your internship – what kind of work did you do? What did you find rewarding?

At the ABA, I revised the Commission on Immigration's email inbox to reply with generic replies and check for follow-ups if needed in order to respond ICE detainees inquiries. Major duties, were to translate documents for detainees' court hearings. Lastly, a time-consuming duty was to print and prepare informational packets to send to detainees. Packets were very consuming, but it was rewarding to know that the information could play key on their cases.

Have your career or life goals changed as a result of your internship? If so, how? 

While my career goals haven't drastically changed, it help to review my plans for law school and what type of law I would like to practice. It helped me see a deep perspective about law school, got a lot of feedback and advise from attorneys during my time at the ABA, concerning what internships to do or skills to acquire.

Share an exciting memory from your internship – something unexpected, an accomplishment, someone you met. 

I met wonderful attorneys, willing to share advice and connect me to people focused on my professional interests. Two Thursdays, they invited interns to a happy hour event with another non-profits, there, I met other people on the immigration field. People with different focus, but working on the immigration field. Networking with them was useful. The accomplished task I'm the proudest of, was translating around 18 documents for a frequent caller, they needed those translations for their asylum court hearings. Besides the workload and the time crunch I found myself, some exhibits were difficult to read for the references of heavy violence.

Did your internship lead to any opportunities?

Thankfully, I was able to extend my time with the ABA at a virtual capacity.

Share a story about something special you did in Washington – an event you attended, a place you went, an exciting talk, etc. 

Out of all the people I have met, most people believe the following connection is the least important one, but the office manager of the ABA offices was very helpful. Besides sharing life advice, he was able to gift me a few ABA books; which are focus on my professional interests. I realized the impact of these books/gifts, I sincerely believe I wouldn't be able to buy all these books by myself. I'm grateful for the books, and the life advice. While I believe other connections can get me job opportunities, I'm grateful for his time, consideration and advice.

How has living in the nation's capital for a quarter changed you?

First, I'm grateful to the UCDC program. As a first-gen, and immigrant, I don't get opportunities like this one very often. Thanks UCDC staff. From a personal perspective, I loved visiting places I saw on movies and shows as a kid. As a Bay Area resident, I got shocked when I came to Davis, and DC came with another cultural shock.

Do you have any advice for future UCDC students?

Please be nice to everyone, you never know who would be the one to get you a job opportunity.

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