My parents are educators. Since I was young, they rooted interest in education on me, a curiosity towards how learning can improve our realities. As an undergrad, I majored in Political Science at ITAM, in Mexico City, and I began researching the Mexican education system. The more I learned about it, the more I wanted to know. My BA thesis focused on the effects of public education on social mobility in Mexico. During my last semester in college, I joined Valora Consultoría Educativa, a consulting firm focused on education policy, as an Associate Consultant. My interests, work experience, and aspiration to continue studying led me to apply to education policy and public policy master's programs in the United States. I was fortunate to be accepted to Stanford University's International Education Policy Analysis (IEPA) program and to receive the Claudio X. González Fellowship.
My year at Stanford widened my perspective on how education systems throughout the world generate social and human capital, and how these systems need leaderships capable of using evidence to improve opportunities through education. My interactions with peers and faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, allowed me to better understand the main obstacles faced by educational systems in developing countries, as well as successful policies through which these problems have been tackled. The program provided me with strong quantitative and research skills that will surely support me in impacting the field of education.
The IEPA program allowed me to complement my experience at the Graduate School of Education with courses from academic departments such as Statistics, Psychology, Public Policy, and Computational & Mathematical Engineering. The interdisciplinary structure of Stanford allowed me to enrich my experience by enrolling in courses on Experimental Research Design, Economic Policy Analysis, Data Science, International Education Policy, Development in Early Childhood, Statistical Learning, Economics of Education and more.
One of the most challenging and gratifying experiences from this year was writing the master's thesis. My MA Paper consisted on analyzing the evolution of the gender and youth wage gaps by educational level in Mexico from 1970 to 2010. I also had the opportunity to work on other research projects throughout the year. I co-authored a paper on the use of machine learning techniques to predict student achievement with my colleague, Joanna Sundharam. I also worked on a paper that compares the gender gap in international test scores (PISA and TIMSS) with Tamila Pashaee.
My path through Stanford helped me understand the challenges faced by educational systems across the globe and provided me with motivation and tools to overcome them. After the program, I joined Proyecto Educativo, an applied research and consulting firm, as a Consultant and Policy Analyst. I feel confident that I will use the skills that I have learned at Stanford to improve education quality and equity in my country. I invite you to challenge yourself and join the network of educational changemakers at the Stanford Graduate School of Education.