Micaela Rostov ’19 in Mexico City.

There were (unexpected) lessons learned and knowledge gained during her abbreviated Fulbright Binational Internship in Mexico City, and Micaela Rostov ’19 is determined to make the best of the opportunity cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think I grew up a lot; that’s what I’ve been thinking of a lot recently,” says Rostov, two weeks after her early exit from Mexico. “I think the whole experience from start to finish, even with this strange finish, pushed me to think critically and to do a lot of self-reflection and a lot of self-growth, and I hope to take that with me.”

For her internship, Rostov worked at the nonprofit Laboratoria, whose mission is to create a more diverse and competitive technology sector in Latin America, primarily through a coding boot camp for women. She finished a big project, a white paper about greater inclusion in the tech sector, and presented it shortly before the coronavirus upended things. The outbreak prompted the Fulbright organization first to urge participants worldwide to return home and then to mandate them to do so.

Rostov, a world politics major at Hamilton, has a long-held interest in Latin America and studied in Cuba while she was in College. The Fulbright gave her a chance to work in the region and to explore a big, interesting city. She made it through seven months of the 10-month internship.

“I think I got to know Mexico City really well, I think I accomplished what I wanted to in terms of my job,” she says. “But I had so many trips left to go on around Mexico and so much I still wanted to explore.I had been assuming that I would have the time to do all of it, especially because I was thinking about extending my time in Mexico a little bit longer. I think that was what felt the most frustrating.”

Back at home with her family in Seattle, she’s continuing to work remotely for Laboratoria. “I think long term I want to go to law school, so I’m starting  to look into law-related opportunities for the coming year,” Rostov says.

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