Iliana, Human Rights and Humanitarian Action

Iliana, Human Rights and Humanitarian Action

Mon, 2022-09-19 16:37
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Iliana Flores has graduated in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action. Coming from Mexico, she works as a Consultant for IOM’s Migrant Protection Division in Geneva, Switzerland

What is your role and main responsibilities? 

As a consultant for IOM’s Migrant Protection Division, I work within the Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit in the EU-IOM Knowledge Management Hub. My main role is to contribute to knowledge management. I work primarily with the Return and Reintegration Platform, being in charge of finding new publications and initiatives and collaborating in other activities, including the coordination and development of webinars and seminars, as well as new research and studies – mainly on the gender-related challenges faced by returnees in their reintegration processes.

How did you secure this role? 

After I graduated from PSIA, I started applying to different positions. Some months and several interviews later, in October 2021, I got accepted for an internship at the IOM in the same team in which I work now. I would say that I secured my position by fulfilling my tasks, having a good relationship with my team and always showing curiosity to learn more. 

What is the most fascinating and/or surprising aspect at your role?

The most fascinating part of my role has been the opportunity to go to Cameroon and Senegal and to talk to people about their return and reintegration stories, the challenges and opportunities they encountered during their migration journey and the ones they faced after they decided to go back to their countries of origin. The most surprising part of this job has been to continue learning about the different angles of migration – such as return and reintegration – and the intersection with other subjects I am equally passionate about, such as gender and environment.  

How did your PSIA experience help you with the role? 

From my experience at PSIA I would like to highlight two main aspects that helped me with my current job: 

To choose concentrations wisely, following my passions, but also listening to the experienced voice of my academic advisor Tina Robiolle, who guided me in choosing two thematic concentrations: migration + sustainable development and environment.

To engage in extra-curricular activities, during my years at 27 Rue Saint-Guillaume I was part of HDRI, a student-led think tank, where I put into practice my research skills and deep interest for the intersection between gender and migration.

What advice would you give to others? 

My advice would be to build strong relationships with your classmates, at the end of the day they will most likely be your colleagues. To try to approach PSIA professors and advisors, as they have the experience and contacts. And finally, to enjoy Sciences Po, but also everything that happens outside the classroom, particularly in Paris there are many events going on!


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