Recently, the education innovation community has embraced the use of data in decision-making and program design. No doubt, some believe this trend can risk being taken too far. Stanford GSB professor Susanna Loeb warns against over reliance on research in education decision-making and argues for a more nuanced approach that blends data and key practitioner insights.
A benefit of working in Nairobi was the close proximity to fantastic weekend trip destinations! I recently visited Gaya Datar, GSB '14, in Kigali, Rwanda, travelled to Hell's Gate National Park and biked ten feet from zebras, went to Zanzibar with Sydney Larson and Jelena Djordevic, and went on a safari in the Serengeti. On each of these trips, I experienced extremely diverse cultures within a small region. For example, I arrived in Stonetown, Zanzibar on the last night of Eid, where the streets were filled with celebrating Muslims in brightly colored formal attire. This was quite different than the safety and order of Rwanda, which was a refreshing break from Kenya, but is also accompanied by a more rigid culture, where certain topics are only whispered about. Lastly, the Serengeti and Arusha, Tanzania demonstrated to me the true meaning of ‘pole pole,' (translation: slowly) in Tanzanian culture, where attitudes are friendly and relaxed, but dinner takes 90 minutes to be served :)
As my summer draws to a close, I thought I would share three takeaways from the 10 weeks I spent at Accion’s Venture Lab.
MBAs Across America is a nonprofit focused on getting MBA students working with small businesses across America -- helping them do anything from identifying their brand and market positioning to understanding inventory costs. The premise is a 6-week cross-country road trip to spend time with, listen to, and build a relationship with entrepreneurs who are changing their local communities. This year the program includes 32 students who are working on master's degrees in business administration hitting the road to work with 48 entrepreneurs in 26 cities. My team's trip started in New Orleans and took us to Savannah, Nashville, Little Rock, and Austin.
Elevate is a company creating leadership and business academies across Latin America starting with Paraguay, where we were opening the first two schools. Working in a start-up environment I was able to internalize a lot of concepts and buzzwords I was exposed to at Stanford.
After months of construction and planning and one INTENSE week of building set-up, Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep successfully opened on Monday with 448 Transitional Kinder, Kinder, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students.
As I wrap up my internship with an affordable housing developer in San Francisco, I have many things to reflect on and many takeaways from the summer.
Working at UrbanCaring this summer, I got to make and implement a lot of recommendations as to how we could improve the product and service, how we can tell our story to investors, and how we respond to clients and caregivers. Starting again in September, I look forward to staying involved and driving our seed round of funding and our growth plan for the Bay Area.
August 8 marked the end of my internship at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Innovation Center.
While a lot could happen in the remaining two weeks of my internship, it's looking increasingly likely that Goodwill of Silicon Valley (GWSV) will be launching a new social enterprise sometime in the late fall or early winter. This is incredibly exciting news - first and foremost because of the job creation opportunities that it presents - but also because it will be stemming directly from my work this summer.