When she heard the phrase “learning by doing” while touring Claremont McKenna College for the first time, Jimena Landa knew she’d found her school.
“CMC has the perfect balance of supporting students while encouraging them to be proactive about their own lives and careers,” she said.
Landa grew up in Mexico and attended high school in Austin, Texas. “Students here are competitive but they also help each other, so I’m inspired to keep dreaming bigger dreams,” she said.
One example: Landa hadn’t even thought about doing an internship after her first year at CMC, but as she started hearing her peers landing gigs at top firms, she realized it was possible for her, too. Landa applied for Student Internships and Experience funding and created an internship for herself with the Mexican delegation to the United Nations in Geneva. “They said they didn’t have interns, but I just kept contacting them,” said Landa, who is majoring in Economics with a focus on International Relations. “I had an incredible experience—they treated me like a colleague, and I even gave a speech.”
Jimena Landa ‘22
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
Major: Economics and International Relations
• Model U.N.
• International Relations Society
• Phone Bank, Office of Advancement
She’s continued developing her skills as a member of the Model U.N. team, which practiced every Friday during the fall 2020 semester, even though they were unable to compete due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I really like that the club teaches tangible skills,” she said. “At first I was nervous about participating, and sometimes still am, but it’s taught me that to overcome those fears I just have to commit and go full-on.”
Landa said her favorite professor is Prof. Jennifer Taw, and she took Taw’s “U.S. Foreign Relations” course this fall. “As you can expect, it was a good semester for that class. Prof. Taw continues to amaze me with her vast knowledge of practically everything,” Landa said. “It seems like there is no topic she can’t discuss. She inspires me to be a more critical thinker and to articulate my ideas logically and concisely.”
Landa, who is also a member of the International Relations Society and works for the Office of Advancement supporting fundraising efforts, said being part of the CMC community has already helped her develop a new sense of herself and her actions.
“I’ve always had huge dreams, but CMC has helped me become more realistic—in a good way,” said Landa. “I look at the choices I have every day, and I think about how they might affect me in the future and how they will affect the people around me,” said Landa. “That is part of becoming a true leader, and CMC is instilling that in me.