Well, hello again. My apologies for the delay. You see, I am all about creating suspense, so hopefully you all were gripped—no doubt continuously hitting the reload button every 3 seconds, fiend-ing for an update.

OK, so probably not. But allow me to explain—A potent combination of getting hit with pretty terrible fever and stomach pain/issues that left me feeling like I was going to die and sporadic access to email has meant no updates for me. BUT, I have written out some updates (in pen and paper just like they used to!). So I will post them now, and some will be backdated and we can all pretend that I was updating regularly.

OK? Good, glad you’re on-board.

June 15, 2010

Everything is going pretty great here at CDF in Chennai, India. Last we spoke, I was just getting settled into the office. To give you an idea of what my work environment is like, I am among roughly 150 intelligent, creative, ambitious and innovative minds.

They call the floor an “ecosystem,” and it is very much appropriately named. I’ve already had several thought-inspiring conversations over chai with many brilliant people, all excited to better understand the people and context of India, and contribute to some improvement here. The office seems to be set up for inter-disciplinary/inter-organizational collaboration, as there is really no distinction between sections of the floor where the 7 different research centers are located.

It’s like a buzzing beehive where everyone has similar ends in mind, but is going about achieving those through different routes—be it finance, economics, marketing, sociology, psychology, among others. Naturally, there are ample partnership opportunities, and I’ve got the green light from my supervisor to pursue those. The only issue is, so much to do and so little time. I am constantly saying to myself, “Ohhh, this is what it feels like to have a job that I love.”

My research center, the Center for Development Finance, is one of the largest among the seven. The main theme here among the researchers seems to be the environment, and some of the various areas of interest are climate


Busy Bees

change,natural resource management, using mobile technology to provide information rural farmers, development metrics, social economics and small enterprise development (to name a few).

In a nutshell, a good portion of the projects consist of data collection, analysis and subsequent dissemination to relevant stakeholders, such as NGOs, policymakers and social investors. Basically, CDF is a think tank that does the research that organizations and governments might like to do, but do not have the resources to pursue.

The highlight of the internship for me (among taking place in a country I’ve long been fascinated by and working in an field of study in which I am passionate) is that I will be granted the responsibility of a full-time researcher here. In other words, this ain’t no internship; I will be owning a project and I will have the freedom to initiate and carry out others. To me, it really doesn’t get better than this.