Hometown: Ellicott City, MD
Current City: Arlington, VA
Why did you choose McCourt? I've always been interested in public service, and I was looking for a graduate program that combined the quantitative rigor I wanted with the policy foundation that I didn't get in my undergraduate degree. I grew up in Maryland and have been local to the DC area since graduating college, so I have strong roots here and was hoping to stay in the area. McCourt's DSPP program offered exactly the kind of coursework I was looking for, with a credit load that still allowed me to seek out work and research opportunities. Our faculty also have amazing connections with policymakers and researchers in many different areas, which has been so helpful to me in exploring my different interests.
What professional/ work experience did you have prior to coming to McCourt? Before coming to McCourt, I worked for 3 years as a consultant and contractor for various branches within the federal government, primarily the Department of Defense. My work was mostly related to business/finance process improvement and information technology modernization. In my job, I was able to travel across the country and abroad to meet with stakeholders and understand how their success was affected by the policies that governed their work.
What has been the best part of your experience so far? Though I've definitely enjoyed the coursework, the best part about being at McCourt has been meeting so many amazing people within my cohort (and all over campus, really.) My cohort is only 39 people, so we've been able to get to know one another quite well. Before starting the degree, I was worried that the environment would be too competitive, but that hasn't been the case at all. We're very collaborative; I frequently study and work on assignments with my classmates and we all support and and encourage one another. We all come from such different backgrounds, with such diverse experiences. I'd honestly say that I learn as much from my peers as I do from my professors.
What internships have you had so far during your time at McCourt? I've been interning at the Congressional Budget Office since June 2022, where I have been doing really interesting policy research. I am also an MDI Scholar with Georgetown's Massive Data Institute, where I am working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services' Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Undergraduate University, degree, and major: University of Maryland, College Park, Operations Management & Business Analytics, Minor in Spanish
Hobbies/ Interests: Apart from the interests listed above, I'm specifically interested in budgetary policy and equitable resource allocation within the government. I first became interested in this area through my work in student government as an undergraduate, and I've been able to explore it further through my research assistantship with the Massive Data Institute.
Outside of work and school, I love to do yoga, paint, cook, sing karaoke, and go for long walks around DC and Northern VA.