Deepak Premkumar Internship

Name: 
Deepak Premkumar
Major: 
Economics, Global Resource Systems, and Mathematics
Year: 
Senior
Hometown: 
Ames, IA
Company/Organization: 
International Growth Centre
Location: 
Villages outside Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Describe your internship responsibilities:
--Conducted field research in the villages outside of Ludhiana
--Aid the design of an investigative survey and focus group discussion guide
--Travel to periphery villages
--Orchestrate surveys concerning attitudes, knowledge, and practices concerning groundwater in the region
--Facilitate focus group discussions to deem the barriers to water conversation and gain valuable qualitative information
--Codify the data and send to primary researcher, Sheetal Sekhri
--Make general recommendations about the feasibility of a scale up to a randomized control trial regarding groundwater in Punjab

What did you enjoy most about this internship?
The powerful introspection that comes from being in a region where you don’t speak the language.  You learn about yourself.  I can definitively say that I know the values I hold dearly.  Not to mention, the deep empowerment I received traveling and coordinating everything myself.  Cultural immersion also adds a sense of spiritual growth as well.

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
It has substantiated my love and passion for conducting field work and international development economics.  It has also given me access to an organization (the International Growth Centre) that I would have to work with in the future, after I get a graduate degree.

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
ISU alum, Sheetal Sekhri

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
There is a whole world out there.  Take every opportunity you get.  Be bold; start attending lectures and events you are interested in, introducing yourself to the speaker.  Ask questions.  You will get noticed.  Eventually, every opportunity leads to an array of new ones.  That is how I was able to attain the internship.