(Dated 2nd August 2019)
My typical day starts at 7:15 am. I get ready for work, grab a banana and head out from home at 8:30 am. My commute to work is roughly about 50 minutes. I live in Springfield, Virginia and take the orange line from the nearest metro station, which is a 20 minutes-drive from where I live (shout-out to Pukar for driving 40 minutes every day just to drop me off and pick me up at the station. He is the best!). The train leaves every 7 mins and takes 24 minutes to get to Farragut West station which is a 5 minutes-walk from my office. My morning train rides are for planning and setting to-dos for the day while the evenings are sometimes for reflecting and other times just looking out of the window at the golden rays of the setting sun. The trains are quieter in the mornings than in the evenings.
I reach the office at around 9:25 am, go straight to the cafeteria and get my favorite mango and blueberry oats to go. It’s a perfect morning snack to start my day off with and its only $1.80 for a 16oz cup (too good to be true).
Speaking of the cafeteria, it is my favorite place to be. An entire floor is dedicated for the cafeteria and there is literally everything you wish to eat- soups, salad, sushi, burger, noodles, curry, dessert, you name it. The menus change every day of the week and you could pick anything you like from the different cuisine stations. Since, it is a pay-by-the-pound system, people only take what they can eat thereby eliminating food wastage.
Since my first blog, I finished reviewing 597 articles from two of the popular journals in economics- Journal of Development Economics (JDE) and American Economic Journal (AEJ). In reviewing the papers, we were assigned to identify the experimental design and the methods used by different authors in their research papers to transform zeros in the outcome variables. These days, I am learning to use Latex, a computer programming language used for typesetting technical documents, to present my findings of the literature reviews. It is a bit technical and heavy on coding but equally interesting to learn. My next task is to find the intra-cluster correlations between variables that use clustered RCTs as their experimental design using STATA.
Over time, there were apprehensions that the tasks were getting monotonous, but it was countered by regular reviews and feedback by my supervisor who made my work feel valued. Our team is still waiting on receiving the data on the education related projects from the field so technically we haven’t been able to start the data analysis work yet. We are hopeful to get the data soon so we can work on it before the internship ends.
Meanwhile, to make the most of my time at the Bank, I have been meeting a lot of interesting people who are working in the education global practice and establishing meaningful connections. In reaching out to people about meeting for coffee/lunch, I figured that people both inside and outside of the institution are extremely humble and willing to meet and share their insights, experiences and information, regardless of how high they are positioned. I also connected with the IEDP alumni in D.C. and to learn about their career aspirations and the projects they have been working on has been a relatable experience.
Although fewer in number compared to the rest of the year, there are various events happening in the Bank during the summer. Through these events, I have had to the chance to meet people from other departments and units and develop a better understanding of how the institution works as a whole. Last week, I attended an event organized by the Data Development group that featured the Bank’s project in Nepal called ‘Nepal Data Literacy Program’, which is a project designed to catalyze stronger data-driven decision-making through targeted data literacy workshops. Some of my friends and colleagues in Nepal had attended the workshop and when their pictures popped up in the screen, I was super excited and took a picture to send it to them.
As mentioned in my previous blog, there is so much you can do in D.C. I don’t think I will do justice talking about the beautiful places I have been to so I will end here and let the pictures do the talking. Starting with: