Danielle Villata, IPD ’20


Last day of class; MIIS students group photo!

The two most valuable experiences from the trip include working and learning with different individuals outside of MIIS students, and being able to live in the environment I was designing in and interacting with the users I was designing for. I was able to work beside 4 fellow MIIS students, 1 professional interested in sustainable development, 3 students from the Aga Khan Academy, 1 professor from the Academy, 3 professionals who work for the Aga Khan Foundation, and 3 professionals who work at local civil society organizations in the coastal region. Working with these people helped amplify my learning journey outside of the content we were learning in the boot camp because I was able to hear about the different perspectives and experiences of each individual in regard to how they got to where they are today, the work they do now, and the fulfillment or challenges of working in the development sector. This gave me insight on what I want to ultimately do with my degree, and how to get there. As MIIS students, we typically fall into the same thought processes and patterns, and it was refreshing to think about things in a novel way. Finally, having the opportunity to absorb the culture and environment that my work would be based in was invaluable. I was able to use the culture shock that I experienced traveling to sub counties as a reflection on what it means to be a in this field, and how to do more “good” than harm. Ultimately, the experience was life changing and I highly recommend any future students who have the opportunity, to peruse DPMI Kenya.

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