Combining passion for education with data and economics
From a passion for education and economics to landing her first internship as a data analyst at Chicago Public Schools, Linh Anh Le’20 took the path less traveled, and is making a difference.
Looking back to your time during high school years, how did your high school experience prepare you for college?
During my high school years, I was involved in many leadership roles from being a class representative to Orientation Leader to a director for a school play. By participating in these projects, I have built my confidence to encounter any challenges that I might encounter in the future. Coming out of high school, I grew as a person. I learned to communicate with people from different backgrounds, practice presenting myself as a team player and a group leader, and was highly aware of my role and responsibilities with my society.
What is the most memorable experience or moment from your freshman year of college?
I cannot choose which one is the most memorable experience, so I will name two. The first moment was when I declared my majors in business economics and education and youth studies. It was amazing since I had always wanted to learn and get into these two fields from the beginning of college. The second and also the proudest moment is when I, along with two other friends, founded the Beloit International Students Career Services organization (BISCS). This organization was the first one to help international students with professional career development, all thanks to Jessica Fox Wilson’s support. Jessica had connected me with two other Beloiters, who later became the other two BISCS co-founders and my lifelong special friends. Along with Jessica’s support, BISCS also received much help from Beloit College’s professors, especially economics professors, who became our valuable resources for connecting with international alumni.
During your time at Beloit College, was there any specific moment that you considered to be the turning point of your study life (or your career pathway)?
In my sophomore year, I discovered my new field of interest: data analytics (I changed my major to quantitative economics later). I didn’t know about data analytics and never thought it would be for me before I took Quantitative Economics Methods with Professor Jermaine Moulton. Throughout four years at Beloit, my analytics skills gradually improved through different classes and projects I have done. I’m thankful for all opportunities I got with the support of professors from both the economics and the education and youth studies departments. Those projects were meaningful to me and challenged me intellectually.
Could you share with us more about your experience with BISCS during your sophomore year?
At that time, my BISCS team successfully delivered Global Beloiters – a panel discussion and networking opportunity that connected current international students with international alumni across the world. It was touching when BISCS received many warm-hearted thank-yous saying that we had helped international students feel more engaged with the campus.
How did your experiences at Beloit College help shape your career development and enter the data analytics field?
In my junior year, I attended the annual Econ Day, which gave me a chance to meet and network with many amazing alumni working in different industries. Later on, I successfully secured a data analyst internship at Chicago Public Schools for the summer of my junior year, with the help of the alum I met in Econ Day, Andrew Davis, and Professor Diep Phan.
In terms of non-academic experience, what was the most important achievement that contributed to your personal growth at Beloit College?
Becoming a Residential Assistant (RA) during my junior year marked my development of leadership skills. I was the RA for an upperclassmen dorm, facilitating 27 residents and acting as a liaison between residents and the college administration.
During your senior year, what did you do to prepare for your post-graduation life?
I had my second internship at Hendricks CareerTek through the Duffy Partnerships program in my senior year. During my internship, I conducted interviews and learned about vocational training and work preparation for young students from grades 6 to 12. I also had a chance to present her research result about child mortality in Vietnam at the Student Symposium, with the help of Professor JingJing Lou and Professor David Segura of the education and youth studies department. My senior year was crazy and busy, but I managed to finish my double major degree one semester early. Then, I just focused on searching for jobs in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Could you tell us a little bit about the work you are currently doing?
I am currently working as the Director of Research and Analyst at the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (WAICU). What I love about this position is that I can combine my two passions into one career.
What would be your advice for students who are considering attending Beloit College?
If you want to be an economics major, Beloit is one of the best places to do so. We have excellent professors who care about you personally, a strong alumni network, and awesome programs such as Econ Day, CELEB, and Belmark that I am sure will suit you well.