“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.” This is one of Roselyn Ramos’ favorite quotes by soccer star Pelé.
Roselyn Ramos, J.D. '08
As a 2008 graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, it is readily apparent that Ramos has lived by this quote. Some of her best memories while in law school include winning the best oralist award at the Pace University ICC International Criminal Court Moot Competition, competing at the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot competition in Vienna, Austria, and leading a human rights trip to examine living and working conditions on sugar plantations in the Dominican Republic.
Ramos decided to attend Miami Law because she was looking to “study and live in a diverse environment.” She was “impressed with the variety of international law and arbitration classes available to students” and as a Cuban/Salvadoran-American, she “enjoyed being immersed in Latin culture.” Ramos recounts that Professors Richard Williamson and David Abraham and adjunct professor Paul Rooney were some of the most influential professors while in law school. “My international arbitration and international law professors opened my eyes to a whole other legal world,” she describes.
Although she wasn’t quite sure about her post-graduation plans, Ramos’ undergraduate education in international relations and her law school classroom experience with international arbitration led her to gravitate towards international job opportunities. In 2007, Ramos decided to take the written foreign service test, where a potential career with the State Department loomed in the back of her mind. Upon graduation and still in the midst of the State Department’s application process, Ramos passed the Maryland bar and started working for a medium-sized civil litigation firm in Baltimore. As soon as she received news of her acceptance to the Foreign Service, Ramos did not hesitate to pursue her true passion.
Ramos entered the Foreign Service knowing how to speak fluent English, Spanish, proficient French, and basic Arabic. During her time with the Foreign Service, Ramos had intense Arabic language training, which served her well in her assignments within Arabic-speaking countries. Ramos explains that “having studied French in college and having grown up with Spanish definitely made it easier for me to seriously learn Arabic.” Today, Ramos works as the Ecuador Desk Officer and in the office of Andean Affairs for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. She has previously worked in the U.S. embassies of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Amman, Jordan, and Mexico City, Mexico.
One of Ramos’ greatest takeaways from law school was learning that there has to be a “work hard, play hard” balance. Although admitting that “law school was a stressful experience,” she credits her “amazing friends while there who helped [her] through the hard times.” Ramos describes how law school “taught [her] to work through [her] frustrations and persevere,” especially during the challenges of studying for final exams and the bar. One of her biggest career obstacles has been “finding [her] feet in what remains a male-dominated working environment.” Ramos believes she has been fortunate to work under the guidance and leadership of female diplomats that have “taught [her] how to find [her] voice and have confidence in [her] abilities.”
Law school also helped Ramos improve her skills of writing, negotiating, and public speaking. She explains that “as diplomats, we are also often counted on for our ability to negotiate and persuade – all skills that are honed through legal studies and working in the legal world.” Ramos’ prior public speaking experiences, including participation in International Criminal Court and International Commercial Arbitration competitions, taught her how to “effectively and coherently communicate with a diverse group of people.” Indeed, Ramos has demonstrated how following her passion while maintaining a strong work ethic and desire to learn has been essential in her career path. After all, there is no accidental success.