In 2008, Madalina Pruna landed an internship with the European Commission. Charged with assessing the impact of Chinese investment in Africa, she traveled to sub-Saharan Africa for her research.
“My first observation was that most of the people working in bilateral or multilateral development organizations had a master’s degree – either in international relations, international development or development economics,” she recounts. “My second observation was that I needed a better framework for my work.”
Spurred by these two insights, Pruna, a Romanian citizen, decided to go back to school even though she already had a bachelor’s in marketing and a master’s in communications. In May of 2012, she completed her master’s in international development at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
“I think it is becoming more and more of a requirement,” she says, “which is frustrating.”