Michelle Echaniz, MS '16, is an International Development Program Specialist.
What do you do now?
I work at an international NGO called Pact. I'm a program delivery specialist for the Southern & Francophone African countries portfolio team.
How do you think your degree at Mason prepared you for where you are now?
My degree got me to where I am now by providing me with the necessary qualifications to get into an international development career. But also with the knowledge to be persistent and to go after what you want whole heartedly. Washington, D.C. has lots of opportunities but is also extremely competitive.
What’s your favorite part about what you do?
My schedule is never predictable and I'm always exposed to new learning opportunities. Also, the portfolio I support has many health related projects. I enjoy being able to draw on my academic knowledge while continuing my professional development.
Why did you choose Mason?
I was also at GMU for undergrad (Class of 2009 – BA in Government and International Politics with a minor in Islamic Studies) and had a great experience, so it was an easy choice for me.
What was most surprising or memorable about your Mason experience?
Having my team capstone project published in Injury. I feel we can attribute much of our success to Dr. Jacobsen, who guided us every step of the way.
Do you have any advice for students currently in the program?
Work hard, establish meaningful relationships with your professors and peers, and keep your eyes open for networking opportunities.