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Before joining the MPA/ID family, I worked in development across several sectors: NGOs, multi-laterals, donors, and the private sector. Having seen development done from many different perspectives, I found that I had a lot of unanswered questions about how development should be done and recognized that I still had much to learn. I wanted the rigor of a Ph.D. in development economics, but didn't want to spend more than a few years away from work. When I learned about the MPA/ID, I realized that it was exactly what I was looking for. The program combines training in economics with practical applications, and also provides opportunities to hone leadership skills and build expertise in specific subject areas. I was able to put these skills to use as soon as the summer after my first year, when I interned with the Ministry of Finance in Liberia; I would not have been nearly as effective without the first year curriculum.
However, the best part about the MPA/ID program has been the amazing people I have come to be friends with and to learn from. Every person in the program is incredibly passionate about international development and poverty alleviation, creating an amazing environment for discussion and learning. I found myself challenged to think about tough questions in development both in and outside of the classroom. It is truly an honor to grow personally and professionally among so many future development leaders.
Gayatri is from Weston, MA. Prior to joining the MPA/ID program, she worked at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, the World Bank, and several local NGOs in various developing countries. She is a dual degree candidate with the Stanford Graduate School of Business. After graduation, she will rejoin Dalberg in Nairobi, Kenya.