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Category: General News, Student Experience

Title: McCourt School graduate reflects on ‘a bittersweet end to an unforgettable three years’

A bittersweet end to an unforgettable three years

Growing up in India, Dhuldhoya was exposed to poverty “in its deepest form.” He became motivated to protect vulnerable communities from expanding corporations in developing countries and began his career as a political risk analyst for GRID91, an information services firm in Mumbai. 

“I witnessed early on how desensitized many of my colleagues were to a lack of collaboration with external stakeholders. The individuals who bore the costs of our decisions didn’t have any voice or bargaining power,” said Dhuldhoya. “People with decision-making power seemed less inclined to consider these factors.”

“What I lacked, and what I knew I needed to advance, were my quantitative skills,” he said. 

Dhuldhoya turned to the McCourt School to bridge that gap and to develop the skills and expertise to do what he couldn’t do in his early career.

As an assistant to Dr. Emily Mendenhall, a medical anthropologist at SFS, Dhuldhoya learned the importance of applying sociological and anthropological research methods to policymaking. 

“If you want to be a good policymaker, you need to understand hard data but perhaps more importantly, what motivates people,” he said. 

Dhuldhoya also found that the people surrounding him impacted his graduate school experience most, calling the community at McCourt “a source of inspiration and motivation.” 

While balancing oral exams at SFS and his capstone project at McCourt, Dhuldhoya relied on peers and professors for support. “They went out of their way to study with and encourage me without being asked,” he said.

Leaving the McCourt community this spring makes graduation bittersweet, but Dhuldhoya looks forward to witnessing the many accomplishments he anticipates will follow his cohort.

“I wish my cohort knew how amazing they are. They have the talent, skills and passion to do great things,” he said.

Dhuldhoya, who currently holds a consultant position with the World Bank, hopes to continue working in development and make meaningful contributions to communities in need after graduation.

People who need our support know their constraints best. As future policymakers, we must find a way to equip them with the information they need to bring about change. I want to help generate important evidence, not just for donors and governments, but for the people policies are meant to serve.

Yash Dhuldhoya (MPP/MSFS’24)

Dhuldhoya credits McCourt School faculty members Barbara Schone, Adam Thomas, Bradley Holst and Andreas Kern for much of his professional and academic success.

“My professors have been pivotal and such incredible advisers and sounding boards during my graduate school experience,” he said. “As I approach my final weeks at Georgetown, I feel the excitement of putting my education to the test to drive real-world impact, but I am also filled with gratitude reflecting on what have been three amazing years.”

This story is a part of our Student Spotlight series, in which the McCourt School showcases the inspiring stories of emerging policy leaders who are making an impact in their academic pursuits, extracurricular activities and communities.