08 Apr 2013

A MILE Ahead: Alumni Profile

Valéria Guimarães de Lima e Silva, a Global Research Fellow at the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU, shares her experiences as a MILE student.

Which year(s) did you participate in the MILE Programme?

I participated from 2006-2007 (MILE 7).

What drew you to the Programme?

The fact that the focus of the course was exclusively on WTO Law and Economics drew me to the MILE Programme. It was the only course in the world solely dedicated to the field. I was further attracted by the high level of expertise of lecturers from different parts of the world – renowned professionals in their fields. The course also offered a structure that provided two different perspectives, mostly from law and economics, on each topic covered by the weekly modules. The combination of diverse views considerably broadened my comprehension of major issues and the existing dynamics in the field of International Trade.
 
What is your fondest memory of your time at the WTI? What stands out as having been a particularly positive experience?

The interaction with colleagues from different parts of the world was both culturally enriching and very pleasant from a personal perspective. I learned a lot from different experiences and points of views we exchanged, and from presentations prepared by students about their home countries. Many of us have developed a close friendship that still remains, no matter where we are. The fondest memories I have are from our weekly gatherings right after the end of exams, to relax and chat over picnics and drinks, as well as dinners we organized in Fellergut, the student house.
 
What would your advice be to potential MILE students?

Be prepared for a very intensive and demanding programme. It might seem a bit extreme at first but later you will be able to recognize the abilities that you will acquire during the academic year. The programme will not only introduce you to a complex setting of treaties, rulings and economic analysis, but will also enable you to provide high-quality technical analyses under challenging time-constraints. This will be a valuable tool for the professional positions pursued after the end of the MILE.

What position(s) did you obtain after having completed the MILE Programme? What do you do in your current role? What makes it interesting?

I got a position as a BlueBook Trainee at the European Commission DG Competition right after the end of the program, which is unusual as I do not hold European citizenship. Afterwards I was invited to work as Chief-of-Staff, followed by the position of Head of the International Department, at the Brazilian competition authority CADE. It was followed by a two-year position as Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow at two well-known universities. I am currently a Global Research Fellow at the NYU Hauser Global Law School Programme.
 
How did the MILE Programme prepare you for this position?

The MILE was key for me to learn to efficiently write in English, conveying meaningful legal and economic analyses under strict time constraints. It prepared me to deal with stress arising from short deadlines and to develop multitasking skills, as we usually had to undergo weekly assessments provided by two different lecturers, which requested different perspectives and a wide range of knowledge on a given subject.
 
Where in the world are you located now? Is it where you grew up?

I am currently living in New York. I grew up in Brazil, my home country.
 
Is there anything else you would like to say?

The MILE Programme is extremely complex and technical and will certainly provide strong grounds for undertaking a future position in the field of international trade law and economics.


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