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Honing Writing and Analytical Skills to Develop Policy

Passionate about policy making and advocacy, Phidor Kong ’23 is taking every opportunity while at Beloit College to hone her communication and analytical skills by taking challenging courses, by serving as a research assistant, and creating policy alternatives as an intern for a Cambodian think tank.

In summer 2021, environmental studies major Phidor Kong’23 undertook doing an independent project with the Cambodian think tank Future Forum. Phidor also majors in international relations.

As an intern, Phidor studied existing natural-resource policies in Cambodia in order to create a policy alternative. She found the process invaluable in preparing her for a future career in policy making and advocacy in her home country.

“Every day I applied the academic knowledge I’ve gained in my international relations and environmental studies courses while advancing my research, analysis, and critical thinking skills. I am excited to connect what I have learned in classes to the outside world.”

“As an intern, I learned how to write clearly for readers, while also learning to create good policy alternatives. The process involves writing, editing, and doing more research in order to come up with the best policy.” She also found herself  navigating problems to develop solutions and strategies.

Phidor credits her success in the internship with help she had received at Beloit from professors, staff members, friends.

“They’ve all helped me learn more about myself and what I want for my future. For example, my advisor Rachel Ellett has not only taught me in the classes I’ve taken with her, but helped strengthen the research skills I’ll need in my career by inviting me to serve as her research assistant during my sophomore year. She also helped me apply to study abroad.”

Her friends also become partners in navigating society. “They’ve been instrumental in helping me to learn about U.S. society and campus culture, and how to deal with people, react to others, and be myself in whatever groups I find myself in. This is important because I’ve not only learned through this process, but built connections at the same time.”

Phidor wants to remind students that a Beloit education involves more than in-class learning and doing research.

“You can learn from everything around you. And friends are an important resource. Together we learn about each other and about life, something that may not happen in classes. Beloit is diverse and offers so much to learn outside of class. Take advantage of the opportunities!”

Phidor Kong’23 with Elizabeth Brewer
August 27, 2021

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