What is your current job (position) and what do you do specifically?
I am a researcher (officially called urban researcher) at an organization called Urban Design and Development Center in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a small organization of about fifteen people that deals with urban development, urban planning, and urban governance, and aims to be an agent that connects the public, private, and civil sectors to promote an inclusive urban development.
The organization handles several projects, but I am on a team that is responsible for one that is pushing for the Open Data project, co-funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. So my day-to-day job is to research about how open data (the disclosure of information without any restriction) can help with urban issues in this digital age and the role of governance in urban development and its potential uneven vulnerabilities.
Aside from research, I also write articles to publicize about the project to the general public. It has really been quite interesting because not only do I get to learn things every day, I also get to interact with people of various expertise like urban architects, graphic designers, sociologists, etc.
What are your fond memories of the department, including courses or experiences?
There are really so many. One of my fondest memories is definitely the discussions in Professor Laura Henry's Social Movement and Political Change because I get to learn about what others have sacrificed in the past, and what has been happening through an academic lens. Each person had to write a semester-long paper, and to me what each peer chooses to do as their project is very fascinating as it definitely reflects their passion.
Another fond memory is my time in Professor Ericka Albaugh's Politics of Development class. Coming from Thailand, a third world country, the topic of development is very personal and I had all these aspirations and ideals about the topic before going into the class. I think it definitely gave me a realistic perspective on how the politics comes in to play. Of course it was hard to learn that even the best of good intentions can have unintended consequences, but I think it was a necessary awakening.
What advice would you have for current Gov majors in thinking about life after Bowdoin?
Do not be afraid to explore different fields, both within the department and outside. Taking advantage of that liberal arts education has been the most rewarding decision I have ever made, and I appreciate it even more after Bowdoin. My work involves researching and learning about different fields, and being able to incorporate them has been very valuable.