Harumi Hasegawa Sanchez is a second-year MPA/ID student at Harvard Kennedy School. She was accepted into the Growth Lab's 2022 Summer Internship Program and contributed to the UAE project. Our team is developing rigorous research to inform the Ministry of Economy in devising a dynamic trade policy, geared towards promoting structural transformation in the UAE and achieving sustained long-term economic growth.
Why did you apply to be a Growth Lab intern?
I found this opportunity unique for having such a dynamic balance between research and applied work to real-life situations where I can put into practice my academic and professional experience.
What did you work on this summer?
I collaborated closely with the UAE’s Ministry of Economy working on micro- and macroeconomic main policy reform topics. Specifically, I studied the economic history of the UAE to understand the main drivers of the diversification process since the establishment of the country. Also, I developed GDP nowcasting models to strengthen the Ministry's forecasting methods.
In what ways were you challenged?
The UAE is a completely different country in terms of how the economy works, the political dynamics, its society and public policy targets. These differences challenged my previous knowledge and preconceptions about how a country should or usually works and what they should look for. I learned a lot in this process, and it opened my mind to different realities.
What was your most exciting experience?
When the Growth Lab team came to the UAE, the interns participated in meetings with different authorities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi; including the Ministry of Industry, the Department of Economic Development, and leaders in trade negotiation and research departments, among others. This was key to deepening my understanding of the country.
"Make the most of the internship experience by choosing a combination of a country that you know less about and the topic that you are most interested in."
Harumi Hasegawa Sanchez MPA/ID 2023
What advice would you give future Growth Lab interns?
Take the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and make the most of the internship experience by choosing a combination of a country that you know less about and the topic that you are most interested in. In this way, you get to apply some of the tools that you know in a totally different environment.
What’s next for you?
In the short term, preparing for my second and last year of the MPA/ID where I want to keep challenging myself on learning new topics such as political economy and macroeconomic crisis, as well as looking forward to honing my skills in leadership and negotiation.