The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rocky and Me: Manav Raj '15 Senior Profile

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The Rockefeller Center encourages its outgoing seniors to reflect on their experiences at Dartmouth as part of a series called Rocky and Me.

My first experience with the Rockefeller Center happened by chance. After having trouble securing a spot in Spanish I during the fall of my first year, I decided to take PBPL 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research on a whim. The first half of the class is spent reviewing basic research and presentation skills, while the second half of the class is focused on researching new projects for the Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop. Through high school, I had an interest in government and policy making, and I thought the class could be a good introduction while also allowing me to have some early experience with research at Dartmouth.

Manav Raj '15

Through Introduction to Public Policy Research, I worked on a project examining the potential cost and impact of voter identification reform in the State of New Hampshire. We conducted an exhaustive literature review and our own independent analysis using data from the state. I was committed to seeing the project through, and I continued with the Policy Research Shop after the class ended. In the winter, I was able to travel to Concord, New Hampshire with my group and present our findings to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. As I approach graduation, this is still one of the highlights of my Dartmouth experience. I loved being able to start as a first year student and immediately contribute to work that could have some sort of real world impact.

The summer after my first year at Dartmouth, I participated in the First-Year Fellows Program. As a First-Year Fellow, I had the opportunity to work at the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy as part of the Presidential Council of Jobs and Competitiveness. I had a great experience at the Treasury Department and learned so much more about how policy is created within independent governmental organizations. The exposure I had to the policy making process and to so many brilliant individuals remains invaluable.

I completed my Public Policy minor with a focus on economic policy. I'm so glad that I have been involved with the Rockefeller Center. Organizations like this are what makes Dartmouth special. The Center has provided me with opportunities to receive real world, relevant experience in public policy. The Rockefeller Center has also introduced me to many fantastic people, whether it's faculty and staff or the talented students I worked with. I know that my involvement with the Center has enriched my Dartmouth experience, and I know that what I learned will stay with me as I begin my life after graduation.

This piece was written by Manav Raj '15. Manav is an Economics major with a minor in Public Policy. In addition to his involvement at the Rockefeller Center, he held leadership positions with Tri-Kap Fraternity for Men and played with the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble. Following graduation, Manav will be working as an economic consultant at Cornerstone Research in Boston.

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