Lauren Simonis

Undergrad: University of Arizona
Practicum Partner: University Research Co., LLC | Cambodia
Final report: Health Equity Funds: An Innovation in Health Care Financing in Cambodia
Current Employer: Director of Operations, Flame Tree Initiative
How MDP helped shape what I'm doing now: The Arizona MDP helped take my amorphous desire to be involved in international development and focused it in a way few other options could have. I gained a depth of understanding of the complexities of poverty alleviation that have helped me address this multi-disciplinary challenge in a unique way. While there is certainly a need for specializations, the MDP opened my mind to the value of the people who can go between -- the ones who understand how to pieces fit together to create a more unified strategy. The lessons I learned in MDP have made me more discerning now, as well. I no longer feel confident working for just anyone, doing just anything. I have to feel confident that money, energies, and efforts are being spent in a way that aligns with the values I formed throughout my two years at the University of Arizona. And of course, there are the people...the Arizona MDP felt more like a family to me than a peer group. I am certain that the relationships I formed there will last a lifetime as we all continue to grow in our personal and professional careers.

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