In fall 2014, graduating senior Lorenza Ramirez arrived at Tufts as the first in her family to attend college. She has not slowed down ever since. While at Tufts, Ramirez has taken classes in three separate languages, interned at the Pentagon, worked multiple part-time jobs simultaneously and graduated a semester early to work full-time on Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s (D-Mass.) campaign.
Ramirez, who grew up in both Baltimore, Md. and Oaxaca, Mexico, planned on studying international relations during her first two years at Tufts. Yet, she said that the 2016 U.S. presidential race led her to completely rethink her career aspirations.
“It just so happened my junior fall, when I thought I would be abroad, was the lead-up to the 2016 election,” Ramirez said. “The lead-up to the election and the craziness before and after compelled me to want to stay here and focus on domestic politics before I could go abroad.”
In the spring of her junior year, Ramirez began working in Warren’s Boston office, helping tackle immigration-related issues that impacted state residents.
“I was an intern for Senator Warren with her immigration team, which coincided with the Trump travel bans and all the crazy immigration policies,” Ramirez said. “We were working at the frontlines with the constituents who were being most affected by those policies.”
Ramirez, who also speaks French, Spanish and Italian, said she realized in Warren’s office that her language skills could be beneficial even if she didn’t work abroad.
“So many constituents only spoke Spanish or only spoke French,” she said. “Suddenly there was this meaningful application for these languages domestically.”
This spring, Ramirez began working full-time for Warren as a campaign organizer for the North Shore and Merrimack Valley regions in Massachusetts, after finishing her classes last fall. She has also used the spring to finish writing her senior thesis, which examines the way political campaigns communicate with Latinx voters.
“I just felt like there was way too much urgency to not get involved. I just needed to do this as soon as possible,” Ramirez said. “Which is why I made the choice to try and graduate early.”
Reflecting on her time at Tufts, Ramirez expressed gratitude for the people of the Tisch College and the political science department, especially Associate Professor Natalie Masuoka. While Ramirez is quick to say that she would never have foreseen her current path, she exudes enthusiasm when discussing her future on Warren’s campaign.
“I’m the first in my family to go to college,” Ramirez said. “I think that freshman year I was so unbelievably lost … If you told me my first semester at Tufts that I would be working full-time my senior spring for Elizabeth Warren, I would think that you were insane.”
After studying at Tufts and working everywhere from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office to the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Ramirez said the state has truly begun to feel like home.
“I feel more of an affinity now to Massachusetts than to Maryland, just from all the work that I’ve done, getting to know people, getting to know the state, which I guess is kind of unique,” she said.
She alluded to plans for law school, perhaps with hopes to run for political office in the distant future. No matter her career path, there is no doubt Ramirez will continue to make a positive impact.