Alejandra (Lexii) Carrillo was an Undergraduate Scholar in 2014 when she interned for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of International Affairs.

Where are you from?
Dearborn, Michigan.

Where did you go to school? What did you study?

I majored in classics and sociology, minored in philosophy, and had a concentration in legal studies at Macalester College.

What was the best part of your internship?

I sat in on a meeting between important U.S. officials and Mexican officials where I watched them negotiate details about extraditions and share information about each country’s laws to facilitate the extradition process. I loved seeing the law function internationally. With the help of my mentors (paralegals and an attorney at the DOJ), I saw and worked to improve both the shortcomings and benefits of the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the U.S.

What lessons did you learn that you would like to pass on to future interns? 

I quickly learned to be adaptable and flexible. If you are, you will more likely be assigned some of the most exciting projects because they require immediate attention and more woman power. I also learned how important it is to take initiative with my work, to have confidence in my work without constant reassurance or oversight, and, most importantly, to take responsibility for that work. When you can manage those values, then you can eagerly accept both criticism and praise of that work and truly advance.

What are you doing now?

I am preparing to travel to Mexico City, Mexico, on a Fulbright—specifically a Binational Business Grant. With this Fulbright, I intern at an organization and take MBA classes. I recently found out I’ve been placed with Ashoka—an organization committed to selecting and developing social entrepreneurs who create innovative solutions to social issues.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?

I hope to be an international human rights lawyer. I’m not exactly sure in what capacity quite yet. Right now, I believe that one of the most exciting ways to participate in international human rights law is to help communities and corporations develop their businesses with values of transparency, accountability, and compromise.

What is your favorite book and what are you reading now?

Right now, I’m reading two books in Spanish: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and Shoot Me, I’m Already Dead by Julia Navarro. I’m catching up on works by Latin American authors. I haven’t finished those yet, so I can’t highly recommend quite yet, but I definitely recommend them. I highly recommend East of Eden by John Steinbeck and Guilty by Reason of Insanity: A Psychiatrist Probes the Minds of Killers by Dorothy Otnow Lewis. Both books show the human condition and how different socioeconomic situations can create a spectrum of “good” and “evil.” All of the above are good reads for those interested in social justice.

Tell us a fun fact!

Mexico City is the food capital of the world; nom nom nom!

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