SEEK 2012 Summer Internship Experiences
Name: Natalya Shulga
Organization: Education Pioneers, New York City
I was an Education Pioneer fellow this summer in the NYC metro area. I spent most of my time as a data analyst in a new charter school in Newark, NJ and from time to time, attended full day professional development days with the 80 other fellows to learn about current issues in urban education reform.
I enjoyed my role at the school because I was surrounded by students and staff. Having done educational consulting for central offices of massive school districts (and going back into this role after Kellogg), it was important for me to get a perspective of working in the schoolhouse. This experience will be invaluable for a number of reasons. As an example, I sat in on a meeting with charter school representatives and strategy consultants this summer, and for once, was representing the little charter school that was being negatively impacted by the policies the consulting group was proposing. I also noted opportunities for the consultants to connect more with the charter school representatives in the room. I will bring these lessons of unintended consequences and communication back with me to ensure I’m more effective in my role in consulting schools in the future.
Another reason I enjoyed the role was because I was the data expert in the building, and, as such had leeway to do a lot of independent work for the school. By driving projects to identify students who are at risk of failing and developing a new discipline tracking system, I felt like I made a sizeable impact on the school. Finally, I am grateful to be in the Education Pioneers network. My career will be in education reform and I believe those contacts will be invaluable as I transition to new roles, require advice and seek camaraderie in such a challenging field.
Name: Rakesh Mani
Organization: Asian Development Bank, Phillipines
The Asian Development Bank in the Philippines is a large, multilateral organization that focuses on boosting sustainable development in Asia, through issuing loans and making equity investments, as well as by applying expertise in an advisory capacity. Before Kellogg, I spent several years on Wall Street and then moved to do non-profit field work in India’s education sector. This internship allowed me an opportunity to meld those seemingly different passions – in finance and development. It was very powerful to learn that one can achieve humanistic goals by applying the finance and business skills that I honed at Kellogg. On the whole, it was a terrific experience and I had the opportunity to work with teams of incredibly talented people who, true to the Bank’s scope, came from a plethora of countries!
I’ve been consistently focused at finding a balance between my twin passions for finance and development. Ideally, I’d like to pursue an investing role that has equally important financial and non-financial return targets and gives me an opportunity to travel and contribute to the larger development goals in Asia. It’s been very heartening to learn that there are many opportunities at Kellogg to pursue those interests.