Maritza Medina Olazarán ’16

Monday, March 14, 2016

“ILR is a close-knit community where you can really talk to other students, faculty and staff. I’ve had conversations with a lot of ILRies on what they’re up to — it’s encouraging to speak to other students who are doing great things and who can motivate you to do better, too.

I came to ILR convinced that I would go into business. My introduction to law came when I participated in a Winter Intersession Program with the New York City Center for Law and Justice, founded by Bruce Gitlin ’77. Bruce encouraged me to pursue a law career. Then, Esta Bigler ’70, director of the Labor and Employment Law Program, opened my eyes to legal research.

All of these things — from being offered an internship because an ILR alumnus worked there, to having faculty mentor you — have played a key role in my experience at ILR.

The faculty always make time for you. When I took labor law with Professor Michael Gold, I was in the library with a group of my classmates — we were looking through casebooks, and we were all lost. Someone ran up to Professor Gold’s office and brought him down to the library, and he sat with us for almost an hour to help us figure things out.

That’s what I appreciate most about ILR. The professors really want to teach you, really want to make sure that you understand the material. They will prioritize your needs over their schedules to ensure that you get the most from your classes.

I remember Dave Price ’87, a former CBS weatherman who speaks at the school’s orientation every year, telling us, ‘Be a good person.’ Something as simple as that holds so much weight in ILR; I believe everyone holds true to that.

Last fall, I participated in an ILR credit internship with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was perfect because everything they do aligns with my class work and research. I felt well prepared to go into this internship and excel.”

Read more stories in Advance, ILR’s alumni magazine, at