Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Current City: Washington, DC
Why did you choose McCourt? When I was deciding on a degree to further my career in international development, I was drawn to the MIDP program at McCourt because of its quant-heavy curriculum. Coming from a non-quant background, I was hesitant at first. However, I felt that the skills that I learned at McCourt will make me a more effective international development practitioner. So, I took a leap of faith, and here I am.
What has been the best part of your experience so far? In my first year at McCourt, I conducted all my courses virtually and through a 12-hour time difference. It was definitely challenging, especially knowing that the majority of my MIDP cohort was based in DC. Despite all of us being online, my MIDP cohort cultivated a supportive environment and we tried to stay connected through different channels. I'm glad to have a friendly and amazing group of like-minded people with me as we navigated through these tough times. When I finally made my way to DC, I am happy to have had my cohort. They have been welcoming and kind, and the fact that we are all here together makes it even better!
What internships have you had so far during your time at McCourt? During my summer internship, I interned for the World Bank at its Malaysia division, where I worked in the Poverty and Equity unit. During my internship, I supported the data processing and analysis of a phone-based survey monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Malaysians and non-Malaysians. I specifically focused on the education, housing, and internet usage sections of the survey. This project was part of larger COVID-19 monitoring efforts by the World Bank. In addition, I interned with Malaysian education NGO MYReaders, where I researched the qualitative methods to assess literacy among young children. I also volunteered with Malaysian urban development organization ThinkCity Institute to support research on public housing schemes in Malaysia. Finally, I worked as a research assistant at the University of Malaya, Malaysia where I supported the lead investigators on research concerning the effectiveness of public health interventions to prevent haze pollution.
Student organization involvement while at McCourt: In my first year at McCourt, I was a Communications Editor with the Georgetown Public Policy Review (GPPR). In my second year, I am the VP of the East Asian Policy Association (EAPA) and the Secretary of the Migration and Refugee Policy Initiative (MRPI).
Undergraduate University, degree, and major: American University, International Studies and Business Administration
Hobbies / Interests: As a Malaysian, food is an integral part of my culture, so I love to cook and also find new places to eat. I also enjoy jogging, especially back at home since I lived near a forest reserve. When I want to relax,, I tend to wind down with a good book or a good movie, depending on the mood.