After graduating last May with my Doctorate in Public Policy from UNC, I joined RTI International as a Research Economist. This week I've hit 6-months, and wanted to take the chance to give a brief update.
Importantly, I'm enjoying the work and am still focused on the intersection of equitable development policy and science and technology policy. More importantly, I have loved the people and culture of RTI which has been so welcoming, affirming, and uplifting.
One cool project I've worked on was just released! My team at RTI (the Center for Applied Economics and Strategy) has worked with many coalitions supporting regional innovation and economic development. We analyzed coalition proposals for federal funding from North Carolina Findings summarized here: https://www.rti.org/announcements/new-report-aims-decode-future-economic-development-north-carolina.
I'm also writing a few other papers, doing a lot of data work in support of regional economic development strategies, and learning every day. There's always a new project, and while some are more engaging then others I'm getting to see the full life cycle of projects and learning what goes into each step.
I needed some distance from my program to realize just how hard I was working a year ago and how difficult the last stages of a dissertation are. I'm enjoying a breath of fresh air and a much more relaxed pace. The incredible self-direction offered by a PhD program also brings with it significant stress and self-doubt. I'm so grateful to be working within a dynamic team that has each other's back. But also still working on the side on the lenghty process of getting my dissertation papers published. I'm very proud of myself for finishing the PhD, very happy I made the decision to pursue the PhD, and also very glad to be done. Please reach out if you'd like to hear more. Happy holidays!