It has been 3 years since I have started my Ph.D. journey with GraSPP. My research field is development economics, especially focusing on human capital accumulation and labor market consequences. I am mostly interested in how external shocks change people’s socioeconomic behaviors, well-being, and country’s development in developing countries. My current works include the long-term effect of the legacy of conflicts on education in Cambodia and the intergenerational impact of the large-scale infrastructure on schooling and occupational choice in the Philippines.
The two biggest factors that had motivated me to start a doctoral program at GraSPP were multidisciplinarity and its curriculum to develop both analytical and practical skills. Having learned from outstanding faculty members and ambitious students in the inspiring environment, I have realized that the choice I made was right. Specifically, joining regular doctoral seminars with students whose backgrounds and disciplines were different helped me to expand my research interest and perspective. Furthermore, there is a wide range of courses for doctoral students, which enabled me to not only deepen my understanding in development but connect with real-world policy by interacting with practitioners. This made my passion to be an economic policy professional grow considerably stronger.
Throughout my doctoral studies, I have experienced two research works and one study abroad program. I had the privilege of working as a research associate at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) that has a strong partnership with GraSPP. Through the collaborative research works and knowledge-sharing events, I was able to obtain real insight into what it meant to work in policymaking and enhance my research skills. Another research experience at Asian Development Bank (ADB) has taught me about how research should be done and what skills are required to work at international organizations. One of the projects that I worked on as an intern/consultant there inspired me to refine the analysis of my dissertation. Without resources provided and continuous support from GraSPP, I would have not had these invaluable experiences.
I am currently visiting Yale University conducting my research through the Fox International Fellowship. The takeaways from studying abroad are the exposure to up-to-date research trends and build influential networks. This research-oriented program allows me to utilize various research resources and obtain feedback on my research from exceptional scholars. I have been exploring as many benefits as I can absorb by attending the development-related courses and workshops and connecting with scholars from all around the world. I believe that this opportunity will lead me to grow as a better researcher with sophisticated analytic skills and a serious attitude in pursuing academic growth.