Alisar is finishing a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a Public Interest Technology Fellow working directly with the Census Bureau of Technology Team on developing a toolkit to combat bias in government data and algorithms. Alisar co-founded Analytics for Advocacy, a consulting non-profit that equips advocacy groups with the policy, data, and tech solutions to effectively pass or change legislation.
Advice for current and future PLSI students:
Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone in education or your career. While I was at SF State, I never thought I could code, conduct data analysis, or utilize complex software solutions to solve policy issues. I am thrilled that I was able to diversify my interest and discover new passions. I highly advise everyone to look at different avenues and connect with people doing work differently than yours. Start building an online portfolio of your school and career work early on and include it on your resume and job applications. Reach out to people on LinkedIn or email and ask for informational interviews or just a quick chat about their interest. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Focus on the process, not the product.