Over the course of my undergraduate career I became interested in international development, Africa, and education. By the time I graduated I knew my passion lay in the field of international and comparative education. I started my career by seeking out on-the-ground experience. I taught for three years in secondary schools in Philadelphia, Tanzania, Newark, and Germany. Involvement in such varying contexts instilled in me the belief that education is the cornerstone of empowering communities and countries as they develop.
I came to the ICE/IEPA program at Stanford to gain analytic skills that I could apply to work on education programs in East Africa. The structure of the ICE/IEPA program gave me a solid foundation in the field of ICE, while the wide variety of opportunities and resources at Stanford allowed me to tailor my degree to suit my interests. I truly deepened my understanding of the issues at stake in education from the classroom level to the policy level. The Stanford GSE community provided a dynamic and supportive learning environment; I was constantly impressed by how generous faculty members were with their time, whether it was to discuss course selection, my thesis, or career advice.
The rigorous MA paper component of the program allowed me to hone my quantitative analysis and academic writing skills. I used data from a Stanford-led randomized control trial of a Save the Children literacy intervention in Rwanda to estimate the impact of the program on teacher outcomes. Along the way I received incredibly thoughtful feedback from esteemed professors and teaching assistants, which helped me produce research I am proud to show future employers. Ultimately the MA paper process was extremely rewarding.
The highlight of my time at Stanford was learning alongside inspiring classmates who were committed to improving education worldwide. Each member of our small ICE/IEPA cohort brought experiences from many corners of globe, and we learned so much through working alongside one another.
In addition to now being part of an amazing global network of ICE alumni, I left Stanford with research skills I can apply in a wide variety of contexts both in and outside of academia. After graduating from the program I moved to Rwanda, where I am now a research project manager for the same Stanford GSE project I became involved with while writing my MA paper. I am thrilled to be directly applying the skills I learned at Stanford to work towards educational development in beautiful Rwanda.