After her first year in Milano’s Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA), Rachel Nadelman spent the summer in Uganda under the auspices of GPIA's International Field Program (IFP), working with a cross-section of government agencies and community-based organizations. Applying theories she had studied in her socioeconomic development courses, she assessed opportunities for women’s economic empowerment through beekeeping and and the export of bee products. “Reading about grassroots development only gives part of the picture,” she says. “To fully understand the complexity of development work, you must address the needs of communities in real time and in context.”
On her return from Uganda, Nadelman worked at The New School as a research assistant for Professor Michael Cohen, founder and director of the GPIA. “I told Michael,” she recalls, “that working with Ugandan women had empowered me and made me certain that I wanted to continue working in communities abroad.” The GPIA has supported her in this goal, and since her graduation, she has worked as a social development specialist at the World Bank for Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on Haiti.Reflecting on her time at the New School, she says, “I had amazing experiences and made great contacts. If you take initiative, you can get everything you want from the [International Affairs] program.” Nadelman is now a doctoral student at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC, where she is deepening her expertise in economic development and women’s issues.