María Alejandra Mora, from Gómez-Pinzón (Colombia), successfully finished the Secondment program at Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes (Mexico), an initiative that provides our young lawyers with the valuable opportunity to work abroad at one of our member firms. Discover her motivation, challenges, and how this experience translates into a journey of professional and personal discovery.
- What motivated you to participate in this program?
What motivated me was the opportunity to gain international work experience. In law, it’s not so easy to go and practice elsewhere, starting from scratch without knowledge of the legislation. I was also motivated by the opportunity to be in an allied firm in a country with a different culture.
- In which area did you work?
I joined the Corporate area, focusing on public procurement and infrastructure. I helped organize various proposals for projects, and concession titles, provided legal concepts on modifications to those titles, and the selection process modality for certain state procurement programs.
- What do you highlight the most from your secondment experience?
When you’ve been with a firm for a long time, as I have at Gómez Pinzón, you learn to work comfortably with the team around you. Having new bosses here meant having to re-interact, knock on doors, and say, ‘Hello, I’m the new one from Colombia, how can I help you?’ I think it’s important to highlight that, reminding yourself that you always have new things to learn and challenges to take on. It’s an experience that allows you to step out of your comfort zone.
- What was it like to live and work in a foreign country?
I moved from Colombia to Mexico, which has truly been an experience. Although the cultures are generally similar, and it’s easy to adapt, there are always changes when interacting. I made very good friends and received a warm welcome, and that made everything easier.
- How would you describe this experience in one word?
It is a ‘discovery’ because you can grow a lot and learn different things from your home country, in addition to stepping out of your comfort zone.