PBPL Voice Profiles: Isabela Montes De Oca ’22

By Panop (Nop) Phongpetra ’23


Isabela Montes De Oca (2022)

Isabela Montes De Oca ’22, a Public Policy & Law senior. Photo courtesy of Isabela Montes De Oca.

For our very first Public Policy & Law (PBPL) Voice Profiles, meet Isabela Montes De Oca! Isabela is a senior currently majoring in Public Policy & Law with a concentration in Law Society and minoring in Hispanic Studies. Below, read our meaningful conversation with Isabela as she reflects back on her experience being a PBPL major!

  • What sparked your interest in Public Policy & Law?
    • While I have always been interested in politics and law, I took the introductory courses for PBPL and enjoyed learning about the processes and practices of policymaking. I’ve truly appreciated how each PBPL professor has offered their unique perspectives and experiences to provide a fuller education on public policy and law.
  • What has been the most memorable class you have taken in the Public Policy & Law department?
    • It’s hard to name a single memorable class because I’ve been able to take away so much from each class, but I was extremely interested in my J-Term class, Capital Punishment in America with Professor Falk. I’ve also been enjoying my Senior Seminar, Segregation and Public Policy.
  • How was your internship experience? How were you able to relate academic work with your internship experience? Were there any specific courses in the Public Policy & Law department that helped prepare you for the internship?
    • I’ve completed two internships while at Trinity. My first was a remote internship as a policy intern at an NGO, Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault. I was able to gain a better understanding of the politics of policymaking, and the importance of coordination and strategy among advocacy groups and agencies shaping policy. My second internship was at a criminal defense firm, where I was able to conduct research, gather documents, and practice legal writing. The courses I’ve taken as a part of my major gave me the necessary research and writing tools to succeed in my internships. Research Methods allowed me to practice compiling and sorting through data, while various other PBPL classes have encouraged me to conduct legal and policy research on a regular basis.
  • What are some suggestions and words of counsel for students interested in majoring in Public Policy & Law?
    • I would suggest that prospective PBPL majors reach out to current majors, and take some of the foundational classes. These introductory classes solidified my decision between choosing a political science major and a PBPL major.
  • What are your plans for the next five years? How do you think your internship experience prepared you for your future career?
    • I hope to find a job in the legal field out of undergrad, and attend law school in the next couple of years. I’m grateful for my internship experiences because it allowed me to pursue my interests and helped shape my plans for the future!


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