Alessandro CONWAY, Class of 2020

Alessandro CONWAY, Class of 2020

Program Manager for "Jobs for the Future" | Graduated from the Master in Economics
  • Alessandro CONWAY, Graduated from the Master in Economics (Class of 2020)Alessandro CONWAY, Graduated from the Master in Economics (Class of 2020)

Can you take us through your academic background?

I received a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, double-majoring in Economics and International and Area Studies. During my last semester I studied abroad at Sciences Po’s Paris campus. I then received a Fulbright Grant to complete a Master’s in Economics from the School of Research.

What inspired your interest in Economics?

My interest in economics started in high school. I became aware of some of the toughest issues the world was (and still is) facing, namely climate change and mounting inequality. As time went on, I developed a strong motivation to help solve them through well-researched and effective solutions. Economics offered an opportunity to do exactly this with its rigorous tools for analysis and applicability to policy.

What skills did your years as a student at the School of Research (formerly the Doctoral School) give you?

Certainly, the School of Research allowed me to develop strong analytical skills for understanding complex issues and performing successful research. The high level at which we were taught also made me very comfortable with understanding and doing work at the frontier of economics. Furthermore, the School’s interdisciplinary dimension brought perspective to my economic studies, a contextualisation that is fundamental for having a real-world outlook.

Which lecturer or course made the greatest impression on you?

Professor Mirko Wiederholt of Macroeconomics II left the best impression on me. In addition to sharing parts of his experience and wide knowledge, he taught complicated topics simply and thoroughly. The skills and confidence I developed through his course provided the basis for my Master’s thesis, which was also later published.

What are your fondest memories of your school, cohort and lecturers?

Some of my fondest memories include the countless coffees at the School of Research Library with my classmates. These moments formed the backdrop of strong friendships being created, ideas developed, and life projects discussed. I will always treasure them.

What position do you work in today?

I currently work as a Program Manager for a non-profit organisation called Jobs for the Future which focuses on promoting equitable workforce development and education opportunities. In particular, I am part of the Inclusive Regional Economic Development unit and am located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What were the key steps involved in deciding on and launching your career?

For one, my Master’s thesis helped me decide what I wanted my career to focus on: the intersection between economic and personal well-being. Second, my internship at Sciences Po’s Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques under Éric Heyer and Mathieu Plane consolidated my commitment to a rigorous applied approach. Together, these steps gave me the insight and experience I needed to start on my career’s path.

How has your academic background contributed to the position you work in currently?

The research skills I acquired have positioned me well to analyse the various programs that my unit covers. This includes studying the impact of certain measures, identifying areas of need, and devising ways to evaluate well-being. The interdisciplinary nature of my studies helped me transition from pure economics to public policy. Ultimately, having developed these abilities in a renowned university such as Sciences Po has allowed me to take on a role with managing responsibilities for my first job.

Do you have any advice for students hoping to enter the sector you work in today?

One piece of advice I can give is to remember that the Economics Master’s from the School of Research is highly regarded and opens many doors, even in sectors that aren’t strictly economic. What matters most is to have a clear idea of the kind of work one wants to do.

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[ Janvier 2022 ]

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