March 2019 International Studies Alumni Spotlight – Shalini Rao  

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Economics; minor, Business Administration ’18

Hometown: Glendale Heights, IL

University of Michigan Affiliations: Public Service Internship Program, Michigan Sahana, Ross Leaders Academy. Community organizations: Abdul for Michigan campaign (assistant to political director)

“The Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) was paramount in shaping my career interests. When I first entered college, I knew I wanted to learn about International Studies, but I did not know what career I wanted to pursue after graduation. My International Studies classes shaped my interest in economic development and built my curiosity of why institutions function the way they do, cultivating my interest in public policy. Since graduating, I now work as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where I have opportunities to pursue projects from geopolitical analysis for the intelligence community to policy analysis and program management for government agencies. I have also joined a foreign policy discussion group for young professionals to stay informed and engaged with current events in different world regions.

My PICS background uniquely prepared me for these experiences through the Program's interdisciplinary coursework, building strong critical thinking skills, and providing me with opportunities to develop my research and writing skills. These experiences contribute to critically analyzing issues with an international lens. I hope to build on the foundation PICS provided in graduate school for a policy or international affairs-related field.”