January 27, 2014

Rebeca Moreno Jimenez MPA’15, a Fulbright scholar, was recently selected as a Global Shaper representing Mexico and will attend the 2014 World Economic Forum on Latin America in Panama this April. She spoke with SIPA News about the Global Shapers program, her hopes for the WEF, and more.

Can you tell us a bit more about what it means to be a Global Shaper and how this opportunity to attend the World Economic Forum in Latin America came about?

The World Economic Forum has two chapters for young people — the Young Global Leaders program for people between 30 and 40 years old, and the Global Shapers for people under 30. [Participants] are all social entrepreneurs who are committed to make their countries a better place. To be part of these networks, someone has to nominate you and then you have an interview in which you have to present your project and your achievements. In my case, I was nominated by another Global Shaper who founded a think tank in Mexico. I was interviewed in November and selected in early January.

What is your project about? Why were you selected as Global Shaper?

I created a job board for people interested in careers in international relations and political science in Latin America. I did my undergrad study in international relations and graduated from college in 2007, right before the beginning of the [economic] crisis. At that time, many of my friends with degrees in social sciences and humanities were telling me, “Rebeca, there are no jobs.” But then, every time I asked around I heard about openings and that’s when I realized that it’s not that there were no jobs, but that people didn’t know about all these opportunities.

In 2009 I launched a Facebook group to post opportunities in this field called Oportunidades para Internacionalistas [Opportunities in International Relations]. One year later, the group had 2,000 followers. In 2011, it reached 5,000 people and by 2012 we had more than 11,000 followers.

Now I manage the site but with the help of other people. We all have different backgrounds. Some people are in multilateral organizations; others work in nonprofits or media outlets. We post information about jobs, internships, fellowships, scholarships, trainings… anything that is related to international relations and political science not only in Mexico, but also Latin America. In fact, the site JobsKnowledge.com, which is a platform managed by the World Bank to build synergies across different sectors, included our Facebook group in a feature on unemployment and youth empowerment.

What will the World Economic Forum program entail?

The agenda has not yet been published and we don’t know what we’ll be doing as Global Shapers. We do know that we’ll attend the main conferences and other small roundtables to discuss how to better address challenges in education, health, infrastructure, and technology in the region.

What do you expect to get out of this opportunity?

I just want to learn. It’s a great opportunity to make contacts and learn from other people who have amazing backgrounds. I want to bring ideas from Panama back to SIPA to use in my classes, not only to discuss with other classmates but also to think about new projects.

What did you do before coming to SIPA?

I worked for the World Bank in Mexico for five years. I worked in the communications department and I had to organize events, monitor media outlets, prepare interviews, write press releases, manage the social media accounts [and more].

Why did you choose SIPA and what your focus is here at school?

My concentration is Economic and Political Development and my specialization is International Media, Advocacy, and Communications. I came to SIPA because I was looking for a career change. What I want to do is use new technologies to implement development projects, and I think SIPA is the best school to learn about these things. It’s based in New York City, it has great professors, and it’s very international.

— interview conducted by Valle Aviles Pinedo, MIA’14