Summer has finally arrived in Boston! After a grueling couple of weeks for finals, I’m done and can enjoy the beautiful weather for a little before I leave for my summer internship.
This summer, I will be working with a small NGO in Kigali, Rwanda, on their monitoring and evaluation plans. Another Fletcher student worked with the same NGO last summer, and was responsible for hiring me and training me; she was an incredibly useful resource for learning more about the organization and its work, her experience working with them, and Kigali generally. I’m really excited to be in Rwanda — it will be my first time in Africa! — and I’m lucky enough that I will have the company of five other Fletcher students who will also be doing internships there.
I was fortunate to receive funding from Fletcher, through the Office of Career Services, to support my work over the summer. My research partner and I also received a grant from the Hitachi Center (which I wrote about earlier) to conduct research for our capstones, which we will write next year. The research will lead me to Nairobi, Kenya for a week after wrapping up my summer internship. And once that’s done, after heading home to India for a week, I’ll be back on campus in mid-August as the teaching assistant for the Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DME) series taught by Prof. Scharbatke-Church.
What I’m most excited about for the summer (in addition to beautiful Kigali and exploring a new country) is the chance to put my DME coursework to use through my internship. Looking back to August 2014, I’m so glad I took the pre-session course and went through the series all the way through Advanced Evaluation this semester, because it gave me new tools with which to think critically about development and the underlying logic behind it. It’s an excellent class for anyone who has worked, or wants to work, in development or peacebuilding. In addition to giving you a set of in-demand skills (because, jobs), it also helps you understand how much higher the bar should be for good development work that can create change, and what steps we can take to reach that bar. It’s an incredibly challenging course that makes you question your assumptions, but the hard work and heavy reading load is completely worth it. If it interests you, definitely consider taking it.
In the meantime — have a wonderful summer, and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you who are new students come August!