Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Nora Murphy, '12

Legal/Administrative Assistant, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, Washington, DC

After graduating from Tulane with a degree in Latin American Studies and Portuguese, Nora moved home to Arlington, VA to look for a job in Washington, DC. Prior to graduating, she had spent a semester interning at the New Orleans Public Defends Office (OPD) where she worked almost exclusively as a Spanish/English translator and interpreter for the inmates and attorneys. This experience inspired her to apply for law jobs, with the possibility of one day attending law school. She now works as a legal/administrative assistant to a Brazilian attorney and partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Nora’s time at Tulane gave her crucial skills and knowledge…

Why did you choose Latin American Studies?
I chose to major in Latin American Studies because I grew up speaking Spanish and visiting Spanish speaking countries. I loved the culture and the people, and wanted to have a more in-depth understanding of the region. Tulane has a very strong Latin American studies program and I wanted to take advantage of the resources available to me (great professors, study abroad opportunities and the Latin American Studies Library).

How has your background in LAST helped you since graduation?
Since graduation my degree in Latin American studies has helped me mostly in securing a job. What stood out on my résumé to my current employer was my first-hand experience in many of the countries they do business with and my language skills. Since I spent my junior year abroad in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil I was very interested in maintaining my ties with Brazil. I interviewed (in Portuguese) and got the job as a legal/administrative assistant to a Brazilian attorney and partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. I work primarily in the fields of international trade and finance, business regulatory, and energy. I was hired largely due to my fluency in Portuguese and Spanish. He needed an assistant that would be able to communicate effectively with his international clients. The majority of our clients are from Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, and the Dominican Republic. In my mind, knowing a second language like Spanish or Portuguese will always make it a bit easier to get a job. It sets you apart from other students with BA’s and BS’s.

Recently, I was also hired as a part-time specialist at the Apple Store. I have a lot of experience in customer service and have always wanted to work at the apple store. Apple is opening it’s first store in Latin America and Brazil this year in Rio de Janeiro. Since I would love to live in Rio, I am planning to work at the Arlington location for the next year until I am able to transfer to the Rio de Janeiro location. I am hoping that my language skills and experience in Brazil will allow me to successfully work and live in Rio!

In hindsight, what would you have done different as a LAST major?
I don’t think I would’ve done much differently. The one thing I regret is not participating in the Binghamton conference thesis presentation. I think it would’ve been a great experience to present my work.

Any words of wisdom for LAST undergraduates?
Work hard on your thesis/and or papers because often times future employers will ask for writing samples. If you are already happy with what you’ve written it will save you a lot of time and effort in the future. Pay attention in the LAST senior seminar class- I got a lot out of it! Lastly, don’t worry too much about post-grad life, you are more prepared than you think! Also, enjoy college while you still can ;)

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Upcoming Events

Final Push Fridays: Graduate Research & Writing Support

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Every Friday from 10am-12pm CDT, The Latin American Library and Stone Center are co-hosting a virtual work-along for Latin Americanist graduate students to support each other in their research and writing goals. The Zoom meeting has two break-out options: participants may choose to troubleshoot research and methodological questions with an LAL librarian and/or work towards their writing objectives alongside a community of their peers. We hope you will join us when you can!

Central America, People and the Environment Educator Institute 2021

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

While at Tulane, the institute will explore the historic connections between the United States and Central America focusing on indigenous communities and environment while highlighting topics of social justice and environmental conservation. Join us to explore Central America and teaching strategies to implement into the classroom.

Additional details and registration will be available in the late fall 2020. For more information, please email dwolteri@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.