Laura Sánchez Tamayo
My year as an MSc student at the LAC in 2016 was a memorable experience. I came to the LAC to learn about Colombia and Latin America and left with knowledge far beyond what I originally envisaged.
I majored in International Relations from Rosario University in Bogotá, pursued a diploma in Political Studies in Sciences Po Bordeaux, and worked for two years in the Diplomatic Service, before joining the LAC.
I had a great time at the LAC. The Centre was a big family and it was wonderful to be surrounded by my friends, the professors, the LAC staff and Tex. The quality of lectures and seminars was amazing, always motivating me to explore new topics and ideas. I valued the fact that there was room for feedback and constructive criticism during the tutorials. This was helpful because I learned to analyse issues from different perspectives and keep an open mind.
My time at Oxford was super exciting. I took part in many interesting societies, attended talks, conferences, volunteered with the Oxford Hub, and worked as a research assistant at the Changing Character of War Centre. I also discovered that I was very good at punting and made friends from all over the world at St Antony’s.
After finishing the MSc, I went back to Colombia to work for a year at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the leader of the Victims’ Law implementation group. It was a challenging and rewarding job that allowed me to use my critical thinking skills developed in the MSc to design strategic law implementation plans and to carry out research to overcome barriers to access to the victims reparations programs.
During this time, I also pursued a post-graduate diploma in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at Javeriana University, which gave me the opportunity to learn about the peacebuilding and reconciliation practices from the local experts.
Then, I was assigned to the Colombian Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands and have been working for the last 10 months as representative to the International Criminal Court, and as a liaison with International Organizations and NGOs working on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
To continue learning about transitional justice, peace building and reconciliation, I recently joined the ICC Study Group on Governance, which fosters dialogue with states about the victim’s participation at the International Criminal Court.
(Published in Horizontes, Number 7, Summer 2019)