1. What is your year and major at UT?
4th year International Relations and Global Studies Major (IRG)
2. How long have you been in IPD and how did you hear about the organization? Are you part of a specific team within IPD?
I've been in IPD since the fall of my sophomore year, I heard about the organization from a friend who was in it and suggested that I might be interested in the work IPD was doing. This semester, I'm a part of the Data4Peace team. In the past I was on the Natural Resource and Conflict team.
3. What is the most rewarding part of contributing and being an active member of IPD? Have you faced any challenges while working in IPD?
I joined IPD out of an interest in developing skills that weren't necessarily offered to me through my liberal arts courses for my IRG degree. I was really interested in learning GIS, and when I expressed this interest to team leads, they made sure to incorporate me into GIS-related projects to help me learn the ropes. I think being able to see yourself actually grow in a skill set is really rewarding, and not something you always get when taking a more conceptual and analytical course load where progress is harder to measure. In addition to the reward of that measurable personal growth, IPD has really exposed me to important global issues and opportunities to contribute to meaningful solutions to issues I find interesting.
4. How does your work with IPD relate to your career goals?
One of my favorite parts of IPD is that it coordinates undergrads and grad students into the same space and the same conversations about issues we're all interested in. Those conversations and connections have really helped me envision the ways in which the skills I'm learning in IPD will likely come in handy when I'm applying to grad school in a few years.
5. What are your hopes for the rest of this school year?
GRADUATE—I'm trying to really soak in as much of UT and Austin as I can before I graduate!