Rodrigo Guerra Su

Jan. 31, 2023

In the Fall of 2022, seven undergraduate students participated in a research internship experience in the Applied International Development Economics (AIDE) Lab, sponsored by the Resilience Internships and Student Experience (RISE) Program. The internship fostered an environment of collaboration, in which students led, directed, and produced original research on household resilience. An ongoing program, the internship is intended to expand students’ understanding of data analytics and causal inference, while cultivating and encouraging peer collaboration and independent research experience. Beyond gaining in-demand skills for the workforce, the students were exposed to the oft messy realities of real-world research.

The internship is guided by faculty, including Drs. April Athnos, Anna Josephson, and Jeffrey D. Michler, and led day-to-day by MSc student Lorin Rudin-Rush. Lorin instructed the interns in the statistical methods necessary to analyze the research questions of interest and provided direct assistance in coding the analyses and figures for the project. The interns were also trained in practices that encourage transparent and reproducible research, like GitHub version control and consistent style for code. Overall, the internship experience allowed the students to sample what a career in research is like. The interns learned more about the sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding research process.

One of the interns was Rodrigo Guerra Su, who is graduating in 2023 with a B.S. in Agribusiness Economics and Management. In this internship Rodrigo was exposed to careers in research, and bolstered his understanding in data analytics, and statistical and econometric methods.

In Rodrigo’s words:

Last Fall of 2022, I had the opportunity to participate in an internship as a Research Intern in Data Analysis and Applied Economics at the AIDE Lab. Basically, our mentors helped us on how to formulate a research question and how to conduct data analysis using real-world data from the World Bank’s HFPS. This internship meant a lot to me for the fact it helped me to realize what I am really interested in as a professional. I would say that this opportunity boosted my interest in data analytics and econometrics and the different methods that could be used to conduct economic analyses.

In addition, this internship also showed me how interesting, exciting, and challenging research could be. I could say I enjoyed the fact that we were working on our own research question. Sometimes it was frustrating that we had the ideas but not the skills to conduct our analysis through the coding. On the other hand, it was satisfying to see the code running and getting our results. Working with the statistical software STATA was challenging because I was not familiarized with it at the beginning, however, that was the reason it made this internship so fascinating to me. Our mentors, Lorin Rush and Dr. April Athnos, were very supportive and professional, also, they shared their knowledge and skills with us to facilitate our work and to show us how to do the right things when working on our research. I am grateful to the AIDE Lab for providing me this opportunity to work on data analytics. Finally, I would say that this internship motivated me to learn more about econometrics and research. As a result, my intention is to apply to a master’s program in econometrics and policy analysis.