Carly Domicolo, MPP Class of 2024, writes about her summer internship working as a data analyst with the Inclusive Economy Lab.

Basic Income Team at the Basic Income Guarantee Conference, June 2023
The Basic Income Team at the Basic Income Guarantee Conference, June 2023

In summer 2023, I served as a Data Analyst Intern with the Inclusive Economy Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs. During the eleven-week, full-time internship,I assisted with data cleaning, visualization, and analysis on projects in the Lab’s Basic Income portfolio. 

I found the position from a posting on HarrisLink (a resource for finding jobs and interacting with the Career Development Office) and was invited to interview with two members of the Data Team. Following the interview, I took a coding assessment to test my knowledge of data analysis, visualization, and interpretation in R. After all was said and done, I was selected as one of six summer interns at the Lab.

My main task for the summer was to write generalizable cleaning functions for the Data Team to use to clean survey data obtained from participants in Basic Income pilots around Chicago and Cook County. These pilots are being run in collaboration with partner organizations and local government agencies to aid in economic recovery and inclusion. The work I completed directly helped in the analysis of results and will continue to be used over the lifespan of the projects. I was also able to take on different, smaller roles to expand my exposure to policies, as well as attend events like the Basic Income Guarantee conference in Chicago.

Throughout this experience, I applied skills I gained during my first year at Harris. First, I employed my coding skills and analysis experience that I gained in the Core to clean survey data and write cleaning functions. Second, I drew on information I gained from elective courses, such as Workplace and Family Policy, when completing work related to policies for the labor market and incomes. Finally, I utilized networking and communication skills to interact with coworkers and other partners.

My internship with the Inclusive Economy Lab gave me valuable hands-on experience working in a policy research capacity. I applied my existing skills to help further the policy goals of local government organizations and improve the economic situation for many citizens. Plus, I was able to continue as an intern during my second year to further improve my skills and knowledge about policy research.