Stories from Our Community

Deboleena Rakshit (MA 2019)

Deboleena was drawn to SAIS Europe based on the academic and cultural aspects the school’s location has to offer. Europe is such a crucial node of political and economic transformations at the moment, that having the opportunity of living in the region for a year and getting firsthand insights into how people are responding to these changes was too exciting to turn down.

In addition to her daily coursework, Deboleena has had a number of opportunities that have enriched her education outside the classroom. In March 2018, she attended a study tour in Rome for her “Labor Policies in Developing Countries” class. She and her classmates met with representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP). As someone who has worked with and is interested in issues related to youth employment, Deboleena found the presentations at these organizations very relevant. It was also inspiring to meet recent alumni from the school who are currently working at these organizations, as they were able to share very specific and helpful pointers on how they navigated the journey from Johns Hopkins SAIS to  multilateral development organizations.

As the Student Government Association President, Deboleena has worked to advocate an enhanced student experience, focusing especially on diversity initiatives and in being responsive to individual and collective student concerns. Some events she has helped organize in the past are the annual Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Vienna Ball, and there are plans for an international dinner and talent contest this semester. Deboleena and her team will also host town halls each semester and weekly coffee chats with an SGA officer to allow students various ways of expressing their feedback to them.

After graduation, Deboleena would like to focus on development consulting for a few years before perhaps continuing further research in development economics.