Regina Molina-Ochoa ('08)
Originally published in spring 2017 FAIS Magazine
Years attended FAIS: 10 years (Prekindergarten to 8th grade)
High School: Sunset High School
College: University of Colorado, Boulder, with an exchange year at Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
Current Occupation: Law Student at UC Berkeley School of Law; summer associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP


How did your experience at FAIS influence your choice of graduate study/career direction?
First, my teachers at FAIS really instilled in me a love of learning from a young age. The international education and focus on global issues at the School fostered an interest in humanities, politics, and history, so I continued to explore different subjects in those areas in high school and college. Then, during my study abroad at Sciences Po in Paris, France, I took a few law courses in French, which really solidified my decision to attend law school upon graduation. 


How well did FAIS prepare you for your experience in college and graduate school?
I believe I was extremely well-prepared for college and graduate school thanks to FAIS. At school, we were exposed to literature from around the world, and were given the opportunity to be creative through art projects. Our internationally focused curriculum taught us to celebrate our diversities. This education helped me form my own worldview and applying this global perspective to my studies in college benefited me as a sociology student. Also, the study habits and writing skills I learned at FAIS prepared me for the IB program in high school and the large amounts of reading in law school.


Are there skills you learned at FAIS that you have applied to your experiences/studies?
FAIS truly provided me with some of the most important skills and experiences I have used, not only in school but also in life. In the classroom, our teachers really motivated us to think critically and to ask questions through hands-on research projects like the chef d’œuvre in 4th grade (thanks Cédric!). We also gained invaluable life experiences through our class trips abroad in 5th and 8th grades where we had the opportunity to live with families in Europe and see all of the things that we had learned in our history classes with our own eyes. All of this prepared me to succeed in school and gave me an appreciation for traveling and experiencing different cultures. 


How many languages do you speak and how have you put them to use?
I speak three languages: French, Spanish, and English. I am fortunate to have been able to use these in various different areas in my life. In college, I was a French minor, which gave me the opportunity to study at a French university in Paris for a semester. Also, I have used my fluency in foreign languages to help underrepresented communities. For example, when I worked with iEmpathize, a nonprofit that helps combat human trafficking around the world, I translated emails to Spanish to help iEmpathize leaders communicate with directors of safe houses for victims in Mexico City. 


What do you envision for the next five years, career-wise? The next ten years?
I hope to be working at a large law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area in transactional law. I am very adamant about continuing to use my foreign language capabilities in my work, so I am hoping to largely focus my practice on cross-border commercial transactions. I would also like to commit myself to continuing to provide pro bono representation to immigrant communities in the U.S.  


Is there anything else about your FAIS experience that you would like to share?
I would like to thank my parents for giving me the gift of this education. I always tell them that FAIS is the best gift they’ve ever given me because it opened so many doors for me and truly made me the person I am today. I am so thankful that I was able to learn from the amazing teachers at FAIS, travel to Europe with my classmates, and make friendships that I still maintain today.