Ashira Biswas ’24 is spending the summer exploring her passion for economics and learning about nontraditional careers in the field. Her interest in economics began when she was in the ninth grade. “I love the economic way of thinking, how it explains human behavior and how economies function,” Biswas said.
Trinity’s Economics Department was one of the things that attracted Biswas to the college. And while Biswas loves economics, she knew the traditional finance path was not for her. “I want to change people’s ideas and stereotypes about economics career paths and show that there is so much more to the field,” she said.
Biswas has also explored Trinity’s Human Rights Program and chose it as her minor, deciding it would be an important part of her career. With this in mind, Biswas did not apply for any finance internships. Instead, she asked Trinity’s Career and Life Design Center for guidance, based on her specific interests. The staff at the center encouraged her to apply for The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) internship program. Biswas was accepted as a summer intern at the Diversity in Government Relations Coalition (DGR), which works to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the government relations industry.
“The group is mostly female-based and all volunteers,” Biswas said. “This gives me hope that people really care, and shows me that a humanitarian relief organization is where I aspire to work.” She listed the United Nations as one of her dream careers.
Biswas’s work at DGR this summer consisted of collaborating on large team projects, sending out surveys, synthesizing annual demographic reports, curating social media posts for DGR’s LinkedIn, and recommending solutions for expanding diversity in lobbying. Each week, she was given several tasks that she could work on independently, then would meet with her advisor, Monica Almond, and the rest of the team to assess the group’s next steps.
Located in Washington, D.C., for the summer, Biswas said her days were filled with more than just her internship. As part of the larger TFAS program, Biswas has taken an economics course for credit at George Mason University, attended high-profile networking events and guest lectures, and learned to work with others from different backgrounds.
“Within the TFAS program, there are a lot of people interning at different places,” she said, mentioning that nearly 300 students are in her program, making this one of the more challenging parts of her work.
Biswas added that adjusting to a new, large city was overwhelming at times, especially without knowing anyone. But she said it was a valuable and necessary learning experience, as she prepares to spend a year abroad at The University of Oxford in England this fall.
“I hope to use the skills I have learned this summer to keep expanding my network and accelerating in my career journey,” Biswas said. In the fall, she will also be accompanied by several Trinity students studying a variety of subjects at Oxford.
As the summer ends, Biswas leaves D.C. with a new sense of confidence and excitement for the possibility of a non-traditional career in economics. “I was nervous at the beginning of the summer, but the Career and Life Design Center helped me find the perfect internship,” she said.