What's New with PiLA! February 2018

PiLA Alumni Association - February Newsletter
We hope you had a very Happy Valentine's Day! Continue reading to discover exciting job postings, professional development opportunities, and events to connect with PiLA alumni! 
Career Opportunities
Continued Education and Job Postings
PiLA Buddy Program
Last fall, we launched a PiLA fellow/alumni mentorship program to help recently returned fellows transition to life post-PiLA. The program matches current/recent fellows with alumni that are 2+ years out of the fellowship so that you both can support each other in the career development process.

We currently have 24 fellow-alumni pairs within the program. Interested in joining the next round of the PiLA Buddy Program, either as a mentor or a mentee? Contact Annie Austin at annieaustin1212@gmail.com for more info.

Online Course: Foreign Investment as an Engine of Development for Latin America and the Caribbean 
To enroll and learn more about the course, Click here. Starting on March 15, 2018, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will hold a part-time, five-week course for those interested in learning about foreign investment within the context of national economic development, and its lessons for Latin America.


DC Event: ProPublica, Audible Present ‘The Making of a Massacre’ Event Remembering Casualties of the Drug War

When: March 1st, 7:00-8:30 PM 

Free to attend. RSVP via Eventbrite.

On March 1 in Washington, D.C., ProPublica, Audible, National Geographic and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) come together for an event with families of Allende victims. The event will be held at the National Geographic headquarters. In conversation with Thompson, three women who lost loved ones in the massacre will share their stories of the brutality they witnessed nearly seven years ago, the people they lost, the aftermath of speaking out, and their continued search for accountability and justice.

Job Opportunities 

Various Positions-- the Inter-American Dialogue- Washington, D.C.

The Inter-American Dialogue is looking for enthusiastic professionals to join their Washington, D.C. team and engage their network of global leaders to foster democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Fundraising and Development Manager-- Fellowship of Reconciliation Peace Presence (FORPP)- Bogotá, Colombia

FORPP is an international accompaniment NGO that promotes nonviolence and protects local human rights defenders and communities in Colombia. They seek a dedicated individual with a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, who can build financial capacity and organizational sustainability.


Operations Associate-- Vega Coffee- Esteli, Nicaragua

Vega Coffee is a direct-to-consumer specialty coffee company which trains and compensates farmers to roast, package, and sell their coffee directly to premium markets abroad. They currently have a unique opening for an Operations Associate to help grow their flagship roasting and export operations in Nicaragua.


Various Positions-- OPI Analytics- Mexico City

OPI Analytics is a Mexican data science company based in Mexico City and was founded by two Endeavor entrepreneurs. They work in both the public and private sectors and are looking for new members to work in their Business Development branch.


Various Positions-- Semilla Nueva- Guatemala City
Semilla Nueva is a nonprofit social enterprise that collaborates with communities, NGOs and governmental agencies to develop and expand the use of biofortified corn in Guatemala. They are currently hiring for several positions within their Guatemala City office.


Assistant Director, Peru Program-- Davidson College- Arequipa, Peru

Davidson College is looking for a new Assistant Director for their Semester in Peru program. This is a temporary position with a starting date on or about August 1 and ending on or about December 20.

Biz Ops Manager (first business hire) -- Phonebooths, INC - New York, NY

Founded by three Y Combinator alumni, Phonebooths Inc. addresses the problem of noise in modern work spaces. The company's first product is a phone booth designed for startups and other open floor plan offices. These phone booths are soundproof, well-ventilated, flat-packed for easy shipping, easily assembled, extremely affordable, and with Scandinavian design. 

The company is backed by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs who have collectively raised over $200M in venture funding and built companies generating over $500M in annual revenue. If interested, please reach out to Brian Chen at bc+jobs@phonebooths.com.

Various Positions-- Inter-American Dialogue- Washington, DC 

The Inter-American Dialogue engages our network of global leaders to foster democratic governance, prosperity, and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Together, we work to shape policy debate, devise solutions, and enhance cooperation within the Western Hemisphere.

Various Positions-- Vecna Cares- Boston, MA 

Vecna was founded on the idea that people matter, and that businesses can be profitable, ethical, and socially responsible.  The company motto “Better Technology, Better World”, reflects our philosophy that impact is the yard stick by which we measure success. Founded in 1998 by a consortium of MIT engineers, Vecna remains a profitable, privately-funded company.  The company has grown to include an extensive network of global partners. 

A spotlight on PiLA Alumni and what they are doing now! 
Jesús Salas
PiLA Year: 2015-2017
  • Placement Organization and Country: Global Partnerships, Nicaragua
  • Current City: New York, NY
  • Favorite Hobby: Trying to find more time to sleep

What impact did PiLA have on you/your life?

PiLA fundamentally reshaped my career aspirations and outlook on life. I started my fellowship after having worked for Deloitte as a consultant and what I was looking for from a placement organization was the opportunity to both leverage the skills I had been learning while also develop new ones. Global Partnerships (GP) provided just that because I was able to conduct special consulting projects for different leaders in the organization while also learning about finance and impact investing. While at GP I was able to help on over eight due diligences across multiple countries (México, Perú, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uganda) and sectors (microfinance, agriculture, healthcare, etc.). Through these experiences I was able to witness the incredible work that different portfolio organizations were doing and how the investments we were providing enabled them to sustain and amplify their impact.

The knowledge I was gaining made me shift my career focus towards finance, which is what I am now focusing on in business school. My hope is to continue connecting capital with sustainable business ideas that can help communities prosper.

What was your most memorable travel experience during your PiLA fellowship? 

Watching a sea turtle lay eggs on the beach in the middle of the night while a meteor shower illuminated the sky.

What do you miss most about your PiLA year? 

So much...the pace and simplicity of life, the warmth, my co-workers, the work. What most comes to mind are the dinners I had at home with my housemates. I lived in a 6-bedroom Airbnb-type house with Agnes Cho (who was a Senior PiLA Fellow), her boyfriend Neal, and anywhere from 2-5 other people (Nicaraguans, Germans, Spaniards, etc.). Agnes and Neal would cook up some delicious meals (I’d be in charge of washing the dishes :) and we would all eat together at our hammock-filled patio. I appreciated sharing meals with them as they were like family to me.

Restaurant recommendation in your current city

Miss Korea BBQ or there is a Mexican woman off of the 145th metro stop on the 1 line that sells super yummy tamales out of a cart for $2.50.

 How do you think PiLA fellows can support local communities at their placement site if their organization is less hands-on service work?

Volunteering with local organizations that are tackling issues you are passionate about would be one way to support local communities. Asking coworkers for recommendations of ways to get involved would also be helpful.

Your Nomination for next Alumni Spotlight:

Theresa Bailey

  • Question for the next person:

If you were running your own organization that placed PiLA fellows, what would be its mission and where would it be located?


Change jobs? Move to a new city?

Help us better communicate with our community! Update your contact and professional information in our Alumni Association directory here.


Interested in learning more about the current PiLA fellow cohort? Check out the links below!
Follow PiLA on Instagram!
As part of a new initiative to encourage fellows to leverage social media to track their impact, PiLA has worked with the AC to re-brand the program's Instagram account! Now, fellows will take turns as "administrators" of the account, and will post photographs of their adventures. Click here to follow! 
Interested in getting involved? 
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Has your work been featured in the news? Tell us about it!