Throughout grad school, I interned in many different environments:
- June – Aug 2021: ACLU of Massachusetts’s Tech for Liberty program
- June 2020 – Mar 2021: International Digital Accountability Council (privacy watchdog for mobile apps)
- Jan 2020: Science and Technology Policy Institute (consulting-like analysis for federal agencies)
- June – Aug 2019: Aledade (healthcare startup to align doctor-patient incentives)
- May – Aug 2018: Philips Healthcare (large electronics company, focused on health tech)
Long-term, I’d like to work in Public Interest Technology! If there’s an overly burdensome signup form for access to welfare benefits, I want to help simplify it. If there’s a backlog of would-be foster parents that are burning out trying to navigate all of licensing and registration requirements, I want to help them get through the process. The case studies in the book Power to the Public are so inspiring, and I want to do things like that. Making government work better is good both because it directly benefits the people who need a helping hand and also because it restores people’s in government to see things working the way they are supposed to!
Community organizing has helped me appreciate the difference between policy “on the books” (e.g. I am eligible for covered therapy sessions) and policy “on the ground” (e.g. it doesn’t really matter what I’m “eligible” for, because I called the front desk and they were too understaffed to help me).
In 2020, I worked with fellow graduate students to co-author a petition for our department to do a lot more to address systemic racism. And we did a lot of organizing since then, achieving department-level wins (e.g. a full-time Diversity Officer for EECS, more student involvement in faculty hiring, transparency in admission stats shared with the community, regular town halls & progress reports, etc) and institute-wide (transitional funding for graduate students in unhealthy advising situations).
Something I could be doing better at? Is it too awkward to mention to me in-person? Let me know anonymously!