Assistant Research Director
I conduct policy research and analysis and utilize data to advocate for education policy change.
Upholding a Cause and Belief
Day to Day
Sometimes I spend a lot of my day at a desk crunching numbers, reading studies, and doing independent research. But the great thing about Children At Risk is that we really orient our data analysis and research toward action and policy change, so we also interface with other folks working in the policy space often. We meet with legislators, other public officials, education practitioners, advocates from other organizations, etc. to build advocacy coalitions and help drive systems-level change.
Skills & Qualities Beyond School
Building my statistical analysis skillset, both in basic knowledge of how to navigate and clean publicly available data sources and more specifically in my knowledge of statistical software such as Stata and R, has been critical. Do more than you think you need. If your program only teachers Stata or SPSS, teach yourself R and SAS. This will help you be more marketable and adaptable. Take advantage of workshops and other professional development opportunities to build this portfolio.
Advice for Getting Started
Here's the first step for college students
A lot of organizations (like mine) have many internship opportunities that can be structured around school and other jobs. Take advantage of those to gain exposure to the policy world.
My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead: