Eddys Gonzalez Lopez, INTA Class of 2023
- Where and with whom did you do your internship?
I did my internship at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. I worked with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice. Although I was given the option to do it remotely, I thought the full experience would be better for me and my professional development.
- What were your primary responsibilities?
I mainly supported the work of a regional report about the effects of trade on labor markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We have seen that globalization, specifically commercial exchange between countries, has benefited economies worldwide. We have seen tremendous progress and economic growth. However, in some countries, the population has not captured these benefits. In this context, the report I was working on improves our understanding of the distributional impact of trade and provides policymakers with the knowledge that can be critical for their action in the matter. My contribution to this report was writing up the first two chapters, which required a sound understanding of the region’s economies, their integration with the global economy, development indicators, demographic characteristics, and political factors. I did research on all these topics, gathered and processed data, interpreted results, created relevant visualizations, and attended meetings with experts to discuss the advances on the project. I also supported the work of another research project on informality across three countries in the MENA region. This work looks at the relationship between workers and firms, taxation, and market conditions to better understand the roots of informality in those countries.
- Which of your previous classes or learning experiences were most useful to you during the internship?
Overall, the master’s program in International Affairs prepared me to make the most of this internship. I think there is a set of relevant skills for the labor market that you can refine or gain through your classes and professors here at the Bush School. I took courses in international economic development, policy analysis, and quantitative methods. I also took a class in economic development but applied to a different region (China). The more integral you structure your study plan, the more you will deliver in the labor market. In one class, I learned about development indicators, another taught me how to formulate policy recommendations, and another provided me with tools for data analysis. All this knowledge proved to be helpful during my internship. My work experience with the Mosbacher Institute was relevant as well. I applied all the research skills I learned while working with Dr. Robertson on various research projects.
- What were the highlights or most important learning opportunities from your internship experience?
Working with the World Bank was such an enriching experience, from the work I did in my role as an intern to meeting professionals with similar interests and different backgrounds. Also, the team I worked with was supportive, which I think is essential when doing team work. I learned a couple of lessons that I think are relevant because they can be applied to other realms. Being aware of your audience. I think we have heard this one before in class. Knowing your audience is important because that way you can guarantee your work is having the impact you want. I believe this is essential in international development because our work can reach many people. Another lesson is “make it simple, not simpler.” Sometimes we tend to over simplify the details at the expense of excellence.
- Do you have any advice for first year Bush School students who may be applying for an internship for this summer?
Take advantage of the resources the Bush School offers for its students in the process of applying for an internship. Do an internship to learn the gaps you will need to fill to pursue the career you want. You should go to your internship open to learning from people already working in the field. Apply to as many internships as you can. I applied to eight! It’s always essential to have a plan B. Besides, you will learn from the recruiting process that certain employers follow, which can be useful in the future when looking for a job in one of these organizations.