Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Students Follow Their Passions in Practicum Projects

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Student giving presentation about her practicum

Janet Addoh MAIPD ’16 (center) gives a presentation to fellow students, faculty and friends as part of the Development Practice and Policy practicum seminar.

December 5, 2016

Students in the International Policy and Development and Master of Public Administration degree programs, collectively known as the Development Practice and Policy program (DPP), have several options to fulfill their practicum requirements. One option is to participate in a seminar where they work on customized research projects related to their career interests. Two weeks before turning in their final project, they present their work to a group of peers, faculty and friends for feedback and comments. Last week, seven students presented on projects ranging from how to attract millennials to seek federal government careers to building foundations for a capacity development non-profit organization in West Africa.

Deanna Burns MPA ’16 analyzed how a federal agency where she interned could better retain high-quality employees from a pool of millennials finishing their internships. Minho Cho MAIPD ’17 focused on examining accomplishments and areas for improvement in South Korea’s foreign aid evaluation system. Patricia Akers MPA ’16, Chelsea Sebetich MPA ’16 and Flynn Pollard MAIEP/MPA ’16 worked on a project that contained three complementary components linked to preparing an external client organization for organizational change. Edwin Zoludua MAIPD ‘16 and Janet Addoh MAIPD ‘16 explored prospects and provided a foundation for the establishment of a non-profit organization that would help established professionals in West Africa to provide networking and professional development to college-educated people who have a difficult time finding jobs.

“These projects are in many ways the culmination of the work the students have done here at the Institute, as they integrate many of the insights and skills they have acquired in all of their classes,” said Professor Mahabat Baimyrzaeva. The students were clearly excited to present their projects and engaged in a lively discussion with colleagues, staff members and friends who attended. Adds Baimyrzaeva, “The students really put their heart and soul into these projects. Most of them pick projects that they are passionate about and are related to their career goals.” 

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