Master's Candidate, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
“I came to HWS in the fall of 2006 with a fixed intent on majoring in computer science. This changed soon after I was exposed to the magnificence of the liberal arts curriculum offered at the Colleges. After taking my first economics course, taught by Associate Professor of Economics Feisal Khan, and having the chance to study both international and American politics, I realized how interested I was in these fields. Coming from a science background in high school, I completely switched gears and ended up majoring in economics and international relations.
The courses I took and the encouragement from my professors incited a curiosity for practical experience to complement what I was studying. During my junior year, I spent a semester interning at a think-tank in Washington, D.C., to see how policy is made and implemented in the United States. The following summer, I gained field exposure to grassroots development, and travelled to Bangladesh to work with the Grameen Bank. Upon graduation, I contemplated going back to South Asia, but as Professor of Economics Pat McGuire had rightfully predicted, I had a case of Potomac Fever which made me return to Washington, D.C.
During my second stint in D.C., I had the great opportunity to work at the Center for American Progress (CAP) as a special assistant to the president and chief executive officer. My work at CAP exposed me to various fields of public policy. I learned how to research and develop new ideas, which can be used to influence the national and international debate. It further increased my awareness of public policy issues, ranging from tax policy to reconciliation in Afghanistan, which stirred my interest to study international policy, and ultimately led me to apply to graduate school.
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in law and diplomacy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. My focus on international business relations and development economics explores the vital link between innovative private sector development and economic empowerment of the poor. After my graduate program, I hope to return to Pakistan and contribute to the development sector there.
Looking back at my time at HWS, I nostalgically recall the formative years that allowed me to grow academically, professionally and personally. At HWS, I met many friends who became family. I also got the chance to lead the International Student Association, intern at Intercultural Affairs, volunteer at America Counts, and become a resident adviser, which instilled in me important leadership skills. The genuine interest in my plans from professors and staff alike, gave me the confidence to pursue my goals. Finally, I always will be grateful to President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan for their friendship and mentorship throughout these years.”