Jenna Mazza (2019 Schaeffer Fellow) graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in International Relations and a B.A. in Spanish. Jenna completed her Schaeffer Fellow internship with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. She is a 2020-2021 Fulbright U.S. Student Program recipient of a Study/Research grant to Spain.
Learn more about Jenna’s application experience below:
What motivated you to apply for Fulbright? Why Spain?
I double majored in International Relations and Spanish, so as I started thinking about post-grad options I knew I wanted to push myself to truly become bilingual while working on social justice issues. I’d always had the idea of applying to fellowships in the back of my head, as a lot of my professors emphasized it as an alternative to the “traditional” first job path. When I started thinking about potential Fulbright research proposals that would align with my experiences and interests, I reached out to the professor that had taught my summer course on Spanish migration in Valencia. 4 years after that course he’s now my advisor for my Fulbright research!
What steps did you take to prepare your application?
Once I knew I wanted to research forced migration in Spain, I looked into what was unique about Spain’s migration flows and policies, read a lot of academic papers, and reached out to some practitioners in the field. From that, I was able to narrow my application “argument” to why I needed to be in Barcelona specifically.
What are your goals for immediately after you complete your Fulbright?
After completing my Fulbright I’ll be pursuing my MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics (I’ve deferred my acceptance due to Fulbright). After that I hope to pursue a career in international development at the intersection of gender and forced migration policy.
What advice would you provide another Schaeffer Fellow (current Fellow or alum) who is interested in applying for something like Fulbright?
I’d advise everyone, no matter if they are interested in a post-grad fellowship or not, to conduct as many informational interviews with people who have interesting-sounding jobs as possible. I received this advice during my Schaeffer Fellowship and I found it so helpful to learn about careers, jobs, and experiences I hadn’t previously envisioned for my career.