Current position and employer: Statistician Demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Programs Center
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Current City: Washington, DC
Why did you choose McCourt? Prior to attending McCourt, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the island nation of Vanuatu where I worked at the grassroots-level with Ni-Vanuatu teachers and counterparts within a rural primary school. After working closely with counterparts in my village to establish a solar-powered computer lab, I became acutely aware of the immense complexity and difficulty that comes with working in the development space. As such, I wanted a graduate program that would equip me with the knowledge and analytical skills to help me become a more conscientious and effective practitioner in order to design more sustainable and effective programs and policies. Ultimately, I chose McCourt because of its evidence-based approach to development, the strength of its rigorous quantitative sequence, and its proximity and many connections in the International Development hub within DC.
What was the best part of your experience? For the MIDP Summer Experience funded by McCourt, I had the opportunity to work in Lilongwe, Malawi as a summer associate at Innovations for Poverty Action, a non-profit research and policy organization that partners with researchers to measure the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at alleviating poverty in various developing nations. As a summer research associate, I supported a variety of projects ranging from evaluations on mobile money and digital credit to analyzing the effects of direct cash transfers on village households. This summer experience was an invaluable opportunity to build on the skills I gained from my first year quant courses while working on exciting ongoing field research.
What internships did you have during your time at McCourt? I held several different internships during my time at McCourt. On campus, I worked as a graduate research assistant for Professor James Habyarimana on an education impact evaluation study on teacher performance-based incentives in Tanzania. I also worked as a graduate research assistant for the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security conducting research on the long-term effects of conflict and displacement on women's employment outcomes. Off campus, I worked as a consultant for the Poverty and Equity unit at the World Bank where I analyzed and harmonized poverty data using household surveys in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. In the summer between my first and second year, I interned abroad with Innovations for Poverty Action in Lilongwe, Malawi where I supported various research projects and data collection efforts.
Student organization involvement while at McCourt: I was involved with the McCourt Policy in Practice to provide consulting services with non-profit organizations in Latin America throughout my two years at McCourt. With MPiP, I organized the annual MPiP Service Auction to raise funds for our trips abroad to work with our partner organizations and to support their organizational goals. For instance, our student team worked with Best Buddies in the Dominican Republic to revamp and improve their volunteer-buddy matching survey to improve their high school volunteer program.
Undergraduate Degree and University: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a minor in Communication Design ('14) from the University of Southern California
Hobbies and Interests: Professional interests: Education Policy, Gender Equity, Data Visualization
Personal interests: Hiking and backpacking through beautiful spots, finding the best street food in the world, and spending as much time as possible on my yoga mat.