The Latin American Studies Undergraduate major (LTAM) provides students with the opportunity to master multiple methodological skills and acquire the language competence through which to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Latin American and Caribbean experience. In preparing students for public and private sector careers, LTAM alumni have gotten jobs in the U.S. State Department in a number of different Latin American countries, transnational companies that operate in the US and Latin America, and in non-profit organizations that work with migrants in the United States.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with Mireille Vargas, who is pursuing her Master’s degree in Global Luxury Management.
Q: Thanks so much for joining us, Mireille! Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
A: I grew up in Statesville, NC, and I worked in commercial real estate after I graduated. I fell into this opportunity through babysitting during undergrad and very much enjoyed the business experience. As a result, I am currently studying in the south of France as part of a one year Master’s program in Global Luxury Management.
Q: South of France, so fun! How has being a LTAM major influenced your career path thus far? How do you see it influencing your future?
A: I selected the LTAM major in undergrad when I intended to attend law school and work with the Latino population in NC. After graduation, I realized that I am more business minded and driven. While my LTAM major has not directly influenced my professional path thus far, I reference my LTAM major for future job opportunities, as I hope to work for a company that does business in Latin America. Also, I have remained involved in LTAM related events, such as volunteer work and attending conferences.
Q: We love that you are still involved in LTAM related events! How would you describe the LTAM major to an undergraduate student who is considering it?
A: The LTAM major provides exposure to a variety of disciplines and professors. It also allows flexibility to explore interests and to pursue a second major and/or minor. Despite having changed the trajectory of my career, I have no regrets about having chosen the LTAM major.
Q: Are there any particular classes or memories from your undergraduate experiences that still stand out to you today?
A: I really enjoyed the on-campus events organized related to the LTAM major. I learned about new topics, met various interesting individuals from professors to professionals to other students, and had access to free food! Challenging classes like History of Cuba and the LTAM capstone with all the other LTAM majors still stand out from undergrad as memorable learning experiences. Lastly, writing an undergrad thesis on undocumented youth was an endeavor that I learned a great deal from and that contributed to my LTAM knowledge and connections during and after graduation.
Q: Who can say no to networking and free food? When you’re not studying in the south of France, what do you like to do for fun?
A: For fun, I love traveling around the world to experience different cultures and scenic views. I also enjoy shopping, running, volunteering, eating, and planning future adventures abroad.
That sounds like quite an adventure! Thanks so much, Mireille!