This summer, I had the privilege to be part of the Data Science Internship Program at the World Bank. This opportunity would not have been possible without the help and economic support from Career Services at SLU and the Emerson Foundation - Data Science internship fellowship award that I was awarded. While at the World Bank, I expanded my Data Science and Economics knowledge. I was paired with a group of excellent and ambitious data scientists in the Poverty Department of Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, I could participate in various workshops focused on software programming and geospatial data. I even attended the first speech of the new World Bank president, Ajay Banga, with fellow SLU alums, where topics like economic development and international cooperation were the main focus of the conversation.
The first task I was given at the World Bank was to harmonize household surveys through STATA, a software for data science. The harmonization was done to assure homogenization across surveys within the region. Therefore, I checked data accuracy and created new variables using the WB dictionary. I developed a detail-oriented skill and became comfortable with STATA as a software. The second task was to assist in developing an R package whose goal is to map economic activity within the region. I was able to explore what open-source databases and APIs were while also learning how to write functions for large datasets. I work with both Google Places API and Open Street Map API to check for accuracy in geospatial data collection and find a way for us to implement it on the R package. Through this task, I could explore a world I didn't even know existed, geospatial data, and increase my programming skills in R. This experience has shaped my future research, professional career, and data science skills!
Looking forward, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that was given to me by the fellowship to be part of this summer experience. This internship was crucial for me to find my full-time job, and I was able to make connections and friends here in Washington, DC. I cannot wait to see what other Laurentians can do through this internship, and I hope the opportunity is still open for many more. Again thanks to the Emerson Foundation - Data Science fellowship for this opportunity!