Isiah Godoy ’20 declared his international studies major after discovering an interest in the mechanics of international law, policy and politics. His diverse interests range from international law to ROTC to collecting currencies from around the globe. Below, he talks about the resilience and passion he learned from his parents, his internship experience and the day his sister alerted him to his proudest accomplishment.
Clubs and organizations:
ROTC, Astronomy Club.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
Favorite place on campus:
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Fried eggs with pancakes.
On choosing a major:
I have been interested in the mechanics of international policy, and I’m very passionate about international law, policy and politics. I believe that international players can work together to achieve potential milestones in human history—international law, of course, being the backbone of that process. International studies goes a lot further than just policy, law and politics. It includes learning about the culture, language and customs of various parts of the planet. Being able to see the beauty in each culture and understand how that culture/community works is what makes international studies, to me, the epitome of inquiry and global appreciation.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
… an architect.
Favorite class so far:
My First-Year Seminar, War and Memories of East Asia. The class taught me how to defend the contentions and arguments I would bring up in discussion or in my papers. Considering I came from a speech and debate team in high school, I thought I would know how to do this well. This seminar taught me otherwise. The class also introduced me to East Asian culture and memory. I read Asian literature about war, suffering, love and nature. The class was difficult and had trying moments, but it was all worth it.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …
… Harvey Milk.
My parents. They molded me into the person I am today. Financial security was a frequent problem for my parents when I was younger. My dad went to school during the day, worked at night and reported for duty on the weekends with the Marine Corps Reserve. My mother was a door-to-door vacuum salesperson, all the while trying to watch after me. To say the least, my parents taught me that even when things don’t look bright, work as hard as you can and be resilient. They taught me the most important lessons of my life. They mean the world to me.
I play guitar and collect currency from around the world, and I enjoy building Lego sets.
Most important thing I’ve learned:
Through passion and resilience, you can accomplish your dreams, regardless of the external forces that drag you down. I learned this from the mistakes I’ve made on campus, ranging from academics, personal interests and physical improvements. It’s important to bounce back after a hard fall; it builds character.
About my internship:
I interned at Allen & Overy LLP over the summer and during winter break. Allen & Overy appealed to me because it is an international law firm that focuses on immersing their interns in the various law practices. The firm emphasized comfortability in the workplace but required efficiency and effectiveness. The goals the firm had for their interns was a large reason why I wanted to intern there. On top of this, the firm paid its interns. Paid internships are often very hard to come by, so when the opportunity came by for me to intern with them, I had to say yes.
What I learned through this experience:
This internship provided me with an in-depth view of the various committees of law (corporate, international, immigration, criminal law, etc.). I also was able to network and get in contact with various lawyers and partners from around the world. I learned how to do the stereotypical intern jobs, but I also was able to read legal documents and speak with partners, lawyers and paralegals. I also got a lot of advice with regard to law school and employment in the legal field.
When my sister told me that I am her role model. To me, this was very special. I could care less about any awards or titles—the fact that my youngest sister said this made me feel like I had a purpose. Granted, I didn’t tell her this, largely because of how we interact as siblings. But I’ll tell her sooner or later, probably when she surpasses me and ends up being my role model.
“I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences, but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experiences and heritage.” —Sonia Sotomayor.
Published June 20, 2017