Dhruv Parthasarathy | 2011 | Interns

Dhruv Parthasarathy (’13)

Chennai, India

Mathematics with Computer Science and Economics Major

Office of Management and Budget - Executive Office of the President

This summer, I worked in the Office of Management and Budget-Economic Policy Division of the Executive office of the President. Going into the summer, I simply expected to attain more skills in Economics and firther my understanding of the subject. But in reality, I learned so much more than that. Thanks to the numerous seminars and talks that we had as part of the program, I learned not only how to succeed as an Economist, but also how to succeed in life as an individual looking to make an impact through public service. People ranging from Congressmen to technical experts within the government spent hours talking with us and guiding us through their lives and what they believed made them so successful. To say these were eye opening would be an understatement.

In addition, the very culture of DC itself helped me attain new perspectives that are uncommon at MIT. MIT, by nature, is a fairly apolitical environment. People may talk about politics, but only briefly and for lack of something else to talk about. In DC on the other hand, every conversation starts with politics. As such, I was in a way forced to keep in touch with the political realities around me and realized how intellectually stimulating the political process can be sometimes. Conversations with my fellow interns helped me understand new perspectives on the same political issues and also helped me realize that the political process is far more nuanced than one would expect. I now have a very developed appreciation for politics that I simply would not have had if I had not joined the DC program.

Finally, the program itself was absolutely perfect for my goal of understanding more about economic policy. Actually working within the government is, in my opinion, the single best way of learning how policy is formulated and implemented on a daily basis. In the OMB, I worked on forecasting key economic indicators, and simulating economic outcomes that were later used for analysis reports in the governments. The key lessons that I learned here were how to create policy when constrained in a political environment. This, I believe, is a very important skill that one can only gain in such a highly political surrounding.

Due to such reasons, I believe the DC program was absolutely wonderful and has helped me grow in so many ways I could have never foreseen. I would recommend it highly to anyone interested in gaining a fresh perspective on the world, as well as themselves.