Sandra Choi

2009 Rangel Scholar

Growing up in a working class immigrant family in a diverse area of Queens, New York, Sandra Choi was drawn to international affairs early. Looking to make a difference both at home and abroad, she developed a strong interest in the U.S. Foreign Service. She wanted to learn more. Then she met a Charles B. Rangel Fellow while interning in the Office of Congressman Rangel who told her about a unique program to learn more about the Foreign Service and other international affairs careers: the Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program. She applied and was accepted.

Sandra characterizes the six-week program as “intense but rewarding.” She has special praise for the eighteen other students with whom she spent the summer and what she learned from each of them. The Rangel Program is “committed to recruiting a diverse group of students who each bring with them something unique to contribute.” she comments. “We constantly encouraged each other by sharing our hopes and aspirations and challenged each other through our discussions on politics, race and international events.” Sandra also appreciated the classes and the networking opportunities with professionals from a broad range of government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Sandra recommends the Rangel Program to others. It “has been the most rewarding experience of my undergraduate studies thus far,” she said. “I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in learning about career opportunities in international affairs and meeting other accomplished, bright students who have a genuine interest in the state of the global community.”

After the program, Sandra returned to complete her final year at Fordham University studying and interning at the United Nations. Her latest activities followed a long list of accomplishments. Sandra has been a student leader and active in community service. She studied abroad in Mexico and Korea. She has previously interned at The Korea Times, in Representative Charles Rangel’s office, in Senator Charles Schumer’s office and with the Global Wealth Management Division at Merrill Lynch. She graduated from Fordham University in 2010 with a degree in international relations and theology, and is currently during her graduate work at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She hopes to become a Foreign Service Officer.

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