Political Science and Religion
Where are you now? What are you doing, and what does your work involve?
I am now working at USAID's Global Health Bureau in the Center for Innovation and Impact (CII). At CII, I am a program assistant, which means that I support the CII team in an administrative and communication capacity. What this looks like in the day-to-day is finding ways to communicate complicated/jargon-y global health work to different parties both internal and external to the agency, serving as a go-between for different people at USAID and CII's leadership team, and managing small-scale projects for the office. In my first month and a half, I have learned so much, both through the process of doing my job and in getting to know my wonderful and brilliant colleagues.
How have you drawn on your experience in the Writing Center since graduating?
I draw on my experience at the Writing Center all the time! Between editing other people's writing, turning bullet points into a coherent narrative, and writing pieces of my own, I am grateful for my time at the Writing Center on a daily basis. I learned a great deal from being a tutor, most notably how to turn complicated ideas into a completed writing piece, a central part of my current job. In starting a new assignment, I will often ask my boss the same questions I asked as a tutor: who is your audience and what do you want them to come away thinking/having learned? Almost equally as important, I became more patient with myself as a writer when I was a tutor -- the writing process is a journey and everyone deserves to show themselves grace.
How did you come to your current position? What have you done since graduating?
I came by my current position through one of my political science professors. I wrote my two senior theses on reproductive health and policy, and was interested in broadening my public health experience. He pointed me in the direction of an open position at USAID and encouraged me to apply. I did not start working right away post-grad though: I backpacked through Europe for five weeks with my closest college friends The trip was a wonderful experience and the buffer between school and work allowed me to re-center before moving to my new home in D.C. and on to another stage of my life.
What role does writing have in your daily life and work?
Writing has a big role in my work life. It is my responsibility to produce external-facing communications for CII, including a monthly newsletter about what work the team has been engaged in for the past month. The newsletter has a subscriber list of a quarter million people, and I nearly cried when sending out the first one because of stress (lol). I also help write and edit internal reports and am currently putting together CII's 2023 Impact Brief, a comprehensive summary of our global health projects from the past fiscal year.
Writing does not have a huge role in my personal life -- while I wish it was otherwise, I have never been able to get into journaling or independent writing. I write a lot of grocery lists and sometimes I edit work emails for my mom?
What’s something you’ve learned about writing that you’d like to share with Haverford writers?
I think the most important thing I have learned is that all writing is storytelling. Whether I am writing a brief on localization or sending an email to a colleague, I keep my audience in mind and try to find a way to tell them a story in a way that is translatable. I ask myself: What is the point of this communication? What information does it make sense to include? How can I put that information together in a way that my reader will understand? Finding the story within the answers to these questions certainly makes my writing stronger.