December 13, 2023

Center for Global Affairs Alumni Spotlight: Syeda Samrah Alam

M.S. in Global Affairs ‘20

Concentration in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance

Currently, Syeda is a Data Analyst at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group

What makes you proud to be an alum?
I am proud to be called a CGA graduate because I am part of an extraordinary group of individuals who support each other by casting light on and recommending solutions to some of the most critical global issues.

What are your main areas of responsibility in your current role?
As a Data Analyst at IFC, I have been looking at the data-related aspects of my team's work. This includes survey data analysis, data visualization, as well as carrying out data mining exercises.

How did your time at the CGA help prepare you for this role?

While all the courses that I completed during my time at CGA have contributed to my career in one way or another in diversifying my skills and abilities, I believe that opting to pursue the Data Analytics specialization was one of the best decisions of my life. As a Data Analyst at IFC, I frequently go back to my notes, as well as the lecture slides from Professor John Kane’s classes to refresh my concepts and come up with solutions to problems. To accomplish these tasks, I mainly make use of Stata, Excel, Power BI, and sometimes a combination of all. Data Analytics is a vast field with several branches. Even though I realize that I have a lot to learn in this field, I also believe that the Data Analytics specialization provided me with a solid foundation to pursue my passion and advance in this field of study.

Any favorite memories at the CGA?
As an international student, my time at the Center for Global Affairs (CGA) was a life-changing experience for me. One of my favorite memories at the CGA was participating in the UN75 Consulting Practicum led by Professor John Kane. This was an amazing learning opportunity for me as I was able to practically apply some of the data analytics skills in helping with the analysis of individuals’ responses to a series of survey questions and moderated discussions regarding current global trends and issues. By the end of the practicum, I was incredibly happy to see the prominent contribution of CGA, as well as the practicum to some of the key findings of the report.

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