Just a few weeks before the start of the program, when the names of the Senior Fellows for 2015-2016 were announced, I was thrilled to find out that Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, a former Acting Ambassador to the United Nations, would going to be teaching at Jackson. As a Mexican Foreign Service Officer, I was eager to learn from one of the United States’ most accomplished and seasoned diplomats.

In addition to covering fascinating topics ranging from Security Council reform to humanitarian intervention, the class recently had the wonderful opportunity to travel to the New York City to meet with a variety of personalities from the diplomatic and human rights fields, including the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. Engaging with these officials gave us the opportunity to better understand the real-world application of the issues we have been discussing in the course.

Meeting with inspiring women like Zainab Bangura, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Sexual Violence, and Liberian Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee will undoubtedly remain as one of the best experiences in my life. Leymah’s advice on going back to one’s country to contribute in some way to its development particularly resonated with me, as I intend to spend half of my diplomatic career at the Foreign Ministry in Mexico City.

I felt especially fortunate to visit the American, Brazilian and Russian Missions to the United Nations and observe not only different foreign policy approaches, but also diplomatic styles. It was a privilege to meet Ambassador Antonio Patriota, a former Brazilian Foreign Minister and the current Permanent Representative to the UN. Following a three-year diplomatic stint in Brazil, I developed a particular interest in Brazilian foreign policy and therefore greatly appreciated the opportunity to receive a first-hand account of that country’s stance on power-balance in the U.N., South-South cooperation and regional integration.

Throughout the New York trip, every interaction and discussion reaffirmed my passion for foreign policy-making and multilateral diplomacy. I am wholeheartedly convinced that I have chosen the right career path.

For me, the highlight of the trip was to see the respect and admiration that Ambassador DiCarlo inspires in everyone she meets. From Ambassador Samantha Power to the security personnel, everyone knew her and was excited to see her; she had clearly made her mark on the organization. Learning from Ambassador DiCarlo’s example has been an invaluable experience. I aspire to build a career in which I can serve as an inspiration to junior diplomats in the way that Ambassador DiCarlo’s career has been for me.