Cristina Martínez Pinto photo

 

 You will get to know yourself better, gain valuable skills and have fun in the process of doing so. 

Why did you choose the McCourt School?

I chose the McCourt School for two specific reasons:

a) The program curriculum. I like how core courses focus on the importance of data analysis and the relevance of evidence-based policymaking in improving outcomes, while electives courses allow me to specialize in my policy areas of interest.

b) Its location. I think there is no better place to understand and study the policy process and its relation to politics than DC. Especially during a Presidential Election year!

How has your experience at the McCourt School been so far?

Both intellectually challenging and rewarding. I’ve enjoyed my classes each semester, discovered new academic interests and recently had the opportunity to choose electives from the Business School on entrepreneurship and technology strategy. It’s been quite busy outside of the classroom as well, I’m working part time at McCourt’s Massive Data Institute, I’m a member of the Latin American Policy Association (LAPA) and the Graduate Association of Mexican Students (GUGAMS), and I’m on the Executive Board of Georgetown University Women Coders.

During Spring I had two amazing experiences that I would like to highlight: being part of Former President of Costa Rica & GU Politics Fellow Laura Chinchilla Student Strategy Team, and representing our school at the National Invitational Public Policy Challenge hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, a competition that required solid team work: from developing a policy proposal to pitching it to different judges in multiple rounds. We made it to the finals! It was a fascinating process and we are now moving forward to the implementation phase.

Have you taken advantage of the McCourt School's DC location? If so, how?

Of course! The DC location provides you with unparalleled access to policy practitioners. Through GU Politics Mentorship Program, I was connected to the Google Elections Program Manager, who gave me valuable professional advice, plus the chance to tour their offices, located near the Capitol. I was also a summer intern at the Woodrow Wilson Center Mexico Institute, a think tank working on improving understanding between Mexico and the United States, and now that I started writing my thesis I plan on conducting interviews at the World Bank and the Open Government Partnership Support Unit (also located here).

What do you hope to do with your McCourt School degree?

I aim to become a specialist in technology policy in Mexico. Upon my return, I would like to join the new administration and contribute to develop the country's digital agenda. I am interested in building platforms that facilitate the interaction between citizens and government; however, by focusing on increasing civic engagement and participation through the use of technological tools as opposed to, let’s say, just reporting issues on a website.

What would you say about the McCourt School to a prospective student?

It will be the right choice. You’ll meet wonderful people from all over the world. At times you’ll be overwhelmed with the workload and so many events happening simultaneously, but you’ll learn about time management and the importance of balance. You will get to know yourself better, gain valuable skills and have fun in the process of doing so.