September 8, 2015 Reading Time: 2 minutes

Standing: Julie Westra, Matt Horan, seated: Lauren Unruh

As the Summer Fellowship Practicum wrapped up last week, we are excited to learn that two of this year’s fellows have either lined up a job or paid internship already.

Elena Casanovas, who came to us from UCLA with a completed bachelor’s degree in political science, is going to start a paid research internship at the Brookings Institution on September 21. She is going to work for the Metropolitan Policy Program. Elena said: “My stay at AIER was certainly a key in helping me get this position at Brookings. The research experience the Summer Fellows program offers is not only extremely valuable in the world of think tanks, but also a very unique opportunity. It is very unusual for undergraduate students to have been involved so actively in relevant research projects, and I believe it was crucial for getting my internship.”

Another summer fellow, Mari Zeta Valladolid, had gone home to Peru to start policy work at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a famous research institute. Mari said: “The AIER Summer Fellowship allowed me to actively engage in different stages of the research process. Learning about data analysis and the specific topic of small and medium sized enterprises will serve me well in my professional career.”

In other news, we also heard from two graduates of AIER’s collaborative remote Applied Economics course and in-residence winter extension: Matt Horan, who is a senior at the University of Sioux Falls, and Lauren Unruh who graduated from that school last spring.

This past summer, Matt landed an internship at South Dakota Trust Company in Sioux Falls. He worked with their operations section of the company and learned a lot about trusts and how to manage them. “Having experience working in an office and using Excel was very helpful. I found it easier to communicate because I molded those skills with AIER. Often I had to work with other people or teams of people for various projects,“ Matt said.

Lauren graduated summa cum laude from the University of Sioux Falls in May and accepted an audit position with McGladrey, LLP right there in Sioux Falls. When reflecting on her experience with AIER, Lauren said: “Basically, I think this class was a good opportunity to get a feel for when it’s appropriate to ask for help… It’s important to push yourself to be an independent learner, but it’s also good to know when to rely on others to help you learn. So to summarize, working with AIER allowed me to learn how to learn, if that makes sense.”

We are proud of students who participated in our programs, and excited to see them using the skills they acquired at AIER.

Natalia Smirnova, PhD

Get notified of new articles from Natalia Smirnova, PhD and AIER.