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Putu Desy Apriliani

Degree, Program, and date of graduation: PhD in Government and International Affairs, May 2019

Dates of working with the WGD Program: August, 2017 – May 2018

What work did you do with the WGD Program?

As a graduate assistant, I work directly for Dr. Maria Elisa Christie, the Director of Women and Gender in International Development (WGD) at the Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED). My responsibilities included organizing lecture series events and workshops on topics of gender and international development, managing media posts related to the Discussion Series events, conducting literature research for funding proposals, and drafting budgets, among others. Simultaneously, I was involved in VT’s Food Access and Security study, where Dr. Christie and I conducted key informant interviews. In this study, my duties included administering an IRB amendment, contacting the study informants, preparing interview instruments and the recording devices, sending the audio recordings for transcription, coding the transcriptions using ATLAS.ti qualitative data analysis programming, and drafting an executive summary. During the spring of 2018, I was also responsible for the development and organization of the Gender, Environment, and International Development (GEID) course on Canvas. I ensured that all readings and resources were available and up to date for students. I was also responsible for grading several assignments and assisting the guest speakers for the course.”

Most exciting experience, interesting discovery, or connection made:

“Working for a research and international outreach institution with a  focus on gender-based, socio-economic, and environmental development has provided me with a very unique working experience with colleagues from different cultural and academic backgrounds. It allowed me to be creative in applying my expertise and previous working experiences to support the team. Further, I continuously developed a greater understanding and discovery of the intersectionality of many aspects surrounding the topic of gender in development which corresponds to my dissertation on community-based microfinance. In addition, I was given wonderful opportunities to present my research in two scholarly forums, WGD Discussion Series at Virginia Tech and the Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference at the University of Kentucky, as well as to present at the GEID course for Spring 2018 on the topic Gender and Microfinance. On a personal note, being a part of the CIRED family had given me a broader sense of friendship and family beyond the office setting.

After graduation plans:

Firstly, I wish to implement all lessons that I have learned during the pursuance of my doctoral degree and from being a GA in WGD at CIRED in my future job. Second, I hope to be able to develop a community-based development initiative that will work hand-in-hand with a community to enhance gender equality and economic resilience. Lastly, I want to value and maintain the network that I have gained during my GAship in CIRED.

How has the WGD program influenced your future?

“Working for the WGD program has not only strengthened my academic and research competence in my own interests like collectivist democratic institutions, but also deepened my understanding in integrating gender cognizance into a community development project. Professionally, working as a graduate assistant has also polished my work ethic and pushed me to be a better co-worker. Many of my duties required me to be able to manage my personal goals while maintaining good communication and coordination with the other members of the WGD team and the CIRED staff in general. I feel that I have gained a tremendous personal confidence in making plans and decisions without underestimating others’ insights, the ability to execute various tasks within a short period of time, and being flexible about work priorities. Furthermore, I am looking forward to extending my network by collaborating with colleagues in international development issues.”