Name: Jiani Yang
Major/Year/School: MA in Higher Education Administration, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University.
Position: Research Intern, Student Parent for Success Initiative
Past Internship: Summer Intern at The Columbian College of Arts and Science Undergraduate Academic Advising Office
What drew you to an internship at IWPR?
Last spring, my history of higher education class had a series of discussions about the history of women in higher education. It was such an eye-opening journey. After speaking with some experts in the field and recognizing many issues still affecting girls and women around the world, I decided to learn more about how to empower girls and women through education. IWPR positively influences women’s status through conducting research based on strong data and analysis, which resonates with my personal and career goals.
What research areas do you focus on?
Currently my research focuses on IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. This program addresses the needs of low-income student parents, especially single mothers, in accessing and completing higher education degrees through research on topics like access to child care.
What has been the best part of interning at IWPR so far?
I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many fun, driven, and brilliant people at IWPR. Everyone I talk with is helping me to grow both as an intern and a person. Most common tasks for research intern are fact-checking IWPR publications and collecting information. Honestly, I didn’t expect to like them. But these two activities have allowed me to learn new knowledge and develop a more mature and sophisticated research approach.
Any advice for future IWPR interns?
I have two pieces of advice for future IWPR interns. First, believe in yourself. No matter how well you think you’ve prepared for this internship, there are going to be some curve balls your work throws at you. However, it is crucial to remember you’re here to learn and you will be successful. Second, don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. It is absolutely easier said than done. I had tremendous support from my fellow interns when I first came to IWPR. If you feel overwhelmed by new work, don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help.
What are your future career interests?
For the foreseeable future, I will start my Ed.M. in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University in fall 2018. I expect to incorporate new knowledge into my research on women and girls’ education.
Favorite lunch spot? My favorite lunch spot is OKI Bowl DC & Sake. I love their chashu and beef rice bowls.
Favorite D.C. museum? I can’t pick a favorite, since I haven’t visited many museums in Washington, D.C. But art museums are my favorite type of museum. I had a great time during my most recent trip to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. I’m no art expert, but I find the aesthetics of traditional and modern art appealing and soothing.
Favorite podcast or reading material on your commute? I am fairly new to podcasts, but so far favorite one is Planet Money. Planet Money is educational, informative, and entertaining. I chose Planet Money in an attempt to learn some economics knowledge, but its light, comedic, and thought-provoking storytelling made me stay.
What else do you like to do in your spare time? I love to have brunch with friends and chat for hours. Also, I enjoy a good cup of coffee, and a quiet place to read.
Learn more about IWPR’s internship program here.