Funding Source: Whitehead Internship Program
In the summer of 2022, I interned at Econsult Solutions Inc (ESI) as a research assistant. ESI is a consulting firm that provides businesses and public policymakers with consulting services in urban economics, real estate, transportation, public infrastructure, and planning. Prior to joining ESI as an intern, I was eager to gain skills in data-driven decision making and essential knowledge of the consulting industry as well as public administration. In addition, I was excited about making connections with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and interests at ESI and learning about their experiences for my guidance in making career decisions.
My summer internship took place in a hybrid mode. I worked remotely on Monday and Friday, while from Tuesday to Thursday I commuted to Center City Philadelphia to work in the office. During my 10-week internship, I was tasked with various research tasks in real estate, economic development, higher education, and tourism. With the rigorous coursework in social sciences at Haverford, I was capable of researching unfamiliar topics and contributing to report writing efficiently. Moreover, I applied my learning of data analysis from numerous workshops organized by the Center for Career and Professional Advising at Haverford.
For one of the projects on higher education, I assisted colleagues and senior advisors with analyzing the relationship between enrollment trends of international students and net prices of attendance in American universities. In specific, I used Microsoft Excel to compile and organize data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education. To make the data analysis work publicly accessible and readable, I created a workbook on Tableau, which graphically presents school-specific information on international student enrollment and net price of attendance. Furthermore, I became more familiar with the economic and demographic data sources provided by agencies like the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis. I also used tools like Social Explorer and ArcGIS to efficiently process and visualize demographic data as requested by clients.
In addition to research work, I used this internship opportunity to enhance my ability to communicate and interact with people professionally. At the client meetings and site visits, I learned to present research results to general audiences and practice active listening in a business setting. I also enhanced my professional network with colleagues and senior advisors at ESI. Through the informational interviews and day-to-day interactions, I gained a deeper understanding of the consulting industry as well as other career paths for economics students. Overall, this internship opportunity allowed me to strengthen my skills in quantitative and qualitative research and the ability to communicate my work with broader audiences.