Fabiola Portal Dorado
CAS’16 | International Relations
Human Rights Representative, Permanent Mission of Honduras to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva
CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
Fabiola: I worked primarily with human rights issues during the 28th and 29th Sessions of the Human Rights Council, the 22nd Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the 69th session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and the 104th International Labor Conference. My job was very diverse; my daily tasks varied depending on what conference was going on at the time. I received delegations from Honduras and briefed them on what they were expected to do during their time representing the government. I served as a facilitator and communicator between the United Nations Office in Geneva and the Mission of Honduras, helping with structural and language problems. Among other things, I represented Honduras in the Human Rights Council and was able to write and deliver statements on behalf of the Honduran delegation.
CCD: How did you find the position?
Fabiola: I was part of the Geneva Internship Program, and the program’s internship placement person granted me an interview at the Mission. I was later offered an extension once the program ended and was able to work there most of the summer.
CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the most challenging part?
Fabiola: It was incredible to get the opportunity to work in something so closely linked to what I would like to do in the future. I am very interested in diplomacy, and so this was like a chance for me to try it out beforehand. What was hardest of my experience was knowing the scope of my job. Sometimes I had to stay at the Mission extremely late or had to work weekends, and it was difficult to feel like that job was actually my responsibility even though it was an internship.
CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?
Fabiola: The importance of interpersonal and communication skills and making lasting, worthwhile connections with everyone you encounter on the job. It was essential for me to speak clearly, respectfully and eloquently in order to deliver a clear message.
CCD: What are the top 3 skills you’ve learned from this experience?
Fabiola: 1. Responsibility.
2. Taking action. I realized a job has so much more to offer than you initially believe. If you earn your employer’s trust, they let you work on valuable, real, and meaningful work.
3. Knowing when to take the opportunities presented to you.
CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?
Fabiola: This experience helped me strengthen my belief that diplomacy and international relations are great passions of mine.
CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience?
Fabiola: Try to cover as much material and work on as many projects as you possibly can, all while maintaining high-quality work.
CCD: What are the benefits of the type of summer experience you did?
Fabiola: It provided me with interesting, real work experience that most students don’t have a chance to pursue.
CCD: What’s next for you?
Fabiola: I plan on going to law school next year and then pursuing a degree in international law and international development.