Are you interested in applying for our Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program? Read this note from Yangzhou Ou, who completed the DPSS program in 2018 and will join the MSCAPP program in fall of 2020! 

Yangzhou Ou, 2018 DPSS Alum, Incoming 2022 MSCAPP Student.

Why did you choose to participate in the Data and Policy Summer Scholar Program (DPSS)?

I was considering public policy programs for my graduate study, and whether such programs could assist my career goal of being a data journalist. The day before the deadline my friend forwarded an email with DPSS information. I was impressed by the training on R programming and econometrics, which I was in actively seeking. UChicago Harris Public Policy would be the best place for me to learn how to conduct policy analysis in a robust way. I didn’t hesitate to submit my application.

What was the most memorable experience of DPSS?

The faculty-led research capstone project was definitely the most memorable experience. Within three-weeks of intensive learning with econometrics and R, we could apply these tools in real-world data sets and give suggestions on policy issues. One example was refugee immigration in Europe. I was amazed to find that I could visualize the data and conduct analysis with the knowledge I learnt just few weeks ago!

Why did you choose Harris for your graduate degree?

DPSS helped me determine a combined program in public policy and data analysis was an ideal choice for my graduate study. During the summer I was introduced to Harris’ MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP).

Harris is a pioneer in this joint field. I know this not by the school’s top ranking, but from the conversations with current students. Hearing student experiences of research, coursework and internships demonstrated how Harris equips them with the required skill-set to achieve their career goals. The numerous opportunities at Harris would enable me to combine the evidence-based analysis skills from MSCAPP with the storytelling and marketing skills from my undergraduate study to make real impact on the policymaking process. That’s why Harris is my first choice.

What are you looking forward to most upon returning to Chicago?

Everything! I am most excited about meeting my future classmates. DPSS gave me a glimpse of the diverse student body, and I can’t wait to meet more and learn more from my peers.