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Elena Zarabozo '12 works as a research assistant in the Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that conducts economic and social policy research in a variety of areas. She works with senior researchers at all stages of the process, helping primarily with data collection and analysis. Since starting in June, Zarabozo has been working on projects looking at the impact of the economic recession on children's household stability, the causes of absenteeism in the District of Columbia public schools, and ways to integrate care for those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
The Kenyon connection
Kenyon's participation in the Selective Liberal Arts Consortium—a group of 13 liberal arts colleges that organize regional recruiting days with prospective employers throughout the country—helped me get my foot in the door by narrowing the field of applicants I was competing with. Scott Layson and Allison Suflita in the Career Development Office worked with me on my résumé and interview skills, and were very encouraging throughout the whole process.
How a Kenyon education helped
I can't speak highly enough about my professors and the honors economics program. The two-year program, combined with my "Introduction to Econometrics" course with Professor William Melik, gave me the research and data analysis background to get this job and my work in those classes is very similar to the work I am doing now, which gave me a leg up in interviews. Because we had two professors and about 10 students, I was able to work closely over the two years with Professors Kathy Krynski, David Harrington, and Jay Corrigan, which proved to be an invaluable experience. I don't think it's any coincidence that I got my job offer right after the Urban Institute received references from my professors.
My college counselor in high school told me that he had seen very different sorts of people all go to Kenyon and be happy there, which really says something about the group of people you find at Kenyon. When I visited, I could tell there was something about the college that separated it from many of the New England liberal arts colleges I was looking at. I just had a good feeling about it.
I volunteer with a job preparation and placement organization that helps unemployed individuals in the D.C. area find and succeed in entry-level jobs. I just joined a soccer team and I play trivia every week (a hobby I picked up at Kenyon).