Experiential Learning with the Baker Institute


Related to my work at the Baker Institute, I was selected to participate in the 2023 Puentes Consortium International Research Experience. The Puentes Consortium is housed in the Baker Institute and is a group of 5 schools across the U.S. and Mexico that engage in scholarship related to U.S.-Mexico relations. In June, I got to spend a week in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon developing a research project. This experience working internationally with students from a different country allowed me to further develop my understanding of the bilateral relations between the two countries. The international research experience is still ongoing— I am taking a class for it this fall. By the end of the semester, my partner and I will have completed a research project on renewable energy investment in Mexico. You can read more about the program here.

Thanks to the Baker Institute, I have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge of international relations throughout the course of the summer. I learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes to keep a think tank running, and also got to spend time on the ground learning about research. I am also beyond thankful for the amazing mentors I’ve had for these programs- Lisa Guaqueta, Ivonne Cruz and Nia Georges. I have learned so much from their expertise and experience in bilateral relations, research and event coordinating. I hope to continue working with Baker in some capacity in the future, and I plan to continue studying Latin American international relations!

My name is Kate and I am a senior at Baker College majoring in Political Science and Social Policy Analysis. Over the summer I had the opportunity to work for the Baker Institute in the Center for the U.S. and Mexico (CUSMX). The Center for the U.S. and Mexico is one of the few think tanks in the country that focuses on U.S.-Mexico relations. Having studied abroad in Latin America previously, I was eager to take advantage of the opportunity I had to become more engaged in Latin American politics on my own campus.

While interning at the Center for the U.S. and Mexico, I did a lot of behind-the-scenes work. My first major project was editing a book co-authored by Tony Payan, a fellow at CUSMX. I also worked on networking and figuring out logistics for CUSMX. Some of my administrative responsibilities included drafting invitations to events, making lists of donors, compiling spreadsheets of company contacts, and looking into staff at Rice that have done research related to Mexico and the United States. I also assisted in Communications duties which included collecting and uploading new events and research to our website.

One of my favorite parts of working at the Baker Institute was the opportunity to attend events. At events, the interns would greet all of the guests and then get to sit in on closed-door meetings we otherwise would not have gotten to be a part of. For example, I got to meet the former ambassador to Mexico, Tony Wayne, and José Natividad González Parás, former governor of Nuevo Leon.

aerial drone photo of baker institute
group of peope making owl hands at baker institute

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