Can U.S. public policy help solve a prominent world financial crisis? It’s among the tough questions that Edith Joachimpillai ’12 intends to answer. A researcher at a Washington, D.C.–based think tank, she explores issues such as Europe’s eurozone debt crisis and using technology to help educate underprivileged children in India.
Joachimpillai joined the Brookings Institution in August 2012 as a research assistant for global economy and development. Her main project is the eurozone crisis, which resulted after several countries in Europe relinquished their national currencies to adopt the euro.
“High unemployment and uncertainty scared investors and sparked political discourse,” says Joachimpillai. “While there is no single solution, my team is analyzing current trends in labor markets, product markets, and social welfare expenditures to find actionable institutional reforms that can improve a given country’s situation.”
In addition to hard economic data analysis, Joachimpillai garners information from international thought leaders.
“I sit in on meetings with country parliamentarians, read speeches from heads of state, and look through countrywide polls,” she notes. “All of this information provides a greater sense of the economic and political realities within a nation and better informs my research.”
Among her favorites: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech on U.S.-European relations, and a moderated discussion with radical-left Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras on his anti-austerity stance.
An Economics-Finance major, Joachimpillai flew to D.C. to interview for the job at Brookings and was hired on the spot. Preparation, she says, came from her Bentley family:
- Professors provided the tools to critically analyze problems and perform data-driven searches to learn more about a topic
- Classmates in the Honors Program challenged her and provided a sense of community
- Mentors in Academic Services provided the confidence to pursue a research position and assistance with the application process
- Friends supported her as she juggled her course load and extracurricular activities