Placement: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Transit Effectiveness Project (TEP)

What I Worked On: I worked on the Transit Effectiveness Project of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, for which I conducted data analysis and best practice research, wrote federal and state grants, participated in survey research, liaised with community constituents, and helped out with routine administrative tasks. The TEP is the in-house consulting group for the City’s Municipal Railway aimed at improving the reliability and stability of the system. This was done through analysis of transportation ridership data, collected through new information technology systems installed on buses and trains. I conducted my own analyses of this data using several software packages, including MS Excel and SPSS. Working at SFMTA also gave me the opportunity to ride the public transportation system on the job and see many areas that I would not otherwise have seen. Additionally, I interfaced with all levels of City employee, from janitor and bus driver to members of the Board of Supervisors.

Hometown: Oakland, CA

School: Columbia University

Field of Study: East Asian Studies (Focus in Political Science/Chinese Politics)

Selected Honors: Weatherhead East Asian Institute Undergraduate Training Grant, Honored Guest of Ayuntamiento Municipal de Peralvillo

Selected Activities and Community Involvement: San Francisco Police Workshop (Volunteer)

Prior Work Experience: Project Manager, Team-Up for Youth, Oakland, CA. Managed park usage survey project from planning to evaluation in San Francisco with aim of making park design and social policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Why San Francisco is important to me: Growing up in Oakland, just across the Bay from San Francisco, I have always looked to San Francisco as a regional and national trendsetter in civic policy. The opportunity to contribute to the City’s groundbreaking programs is a tremendous honor.

Something unique about me: During the summer of 2007, I traveled around China interviewing young Chinese about their views on marriage, dating, and society in general. One of the most interesting parts of my research was observing how the physical space of each city influenced the romantic experiences and attitudes of the city’s young people. From Beijing to Shanghai to Nanjing and Chengdu, the social lives and adventures of the young people are inextricably linked to the restaurants, parks, clubs, schools, and public spaces each city possesses. It was only by seeing this phenomenon as an outsider that I came to appreciate it as a fundamental feature of the relationship between every city and its people.

What I’m Doing Now: I work for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. I am a Project Manager in International Business Development, helping the City attract and retain international businesses, to help boost the local economy.