Pallavi Panda | How Can I Do More

Document created by Sara Jo Lee on Mar 22, 2020
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Pallavi Panda shares what drives her to achieve more.
My Journey to #AchieveMore
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 10. That was my unwavering answer for "What do you want to be when you grow up?". It may have taken shape in my mind since both my parents were professors and it just seemed like the golden choice. I have been under the supervision of some great teachers and that has shaped my life. The idea of being able to affect someone's life in a meaningful way has always been my driving factor attracting me towards this profession. As I grew up, I started understanding what this entails. Along the way, after I completed my Master's in Economics, I took up a high paying consulting job. Because that is what was right in front of me, was comfortable, and what my peers were doing. The idea of becoming a professor went to a backburner. Being in India initially, I saw human beings in different circumstances as different socioeconomic conditions, different religions, different political affiliations and there was a wide variation in health and economic conditions. And the question started forming in my mind, "Am I doing enough?". Economics is powerful as it informs public policy. Choices and incentives are important in shaping a person's life and that is what Economics studies. I was fascinated not by objects far away rather by my fellow humans and their lives. This is what led me to further my study to get a Ph.D. in the US. Given my interest, my work focuses on policy evaluation and the impact on people's livelihoods in developing countries. I can share this wonderful experience of understanding the myriad choices that human beings make with my students. And seeing that spark in their eye as they embark on this journey is priceless. There is truly no greater joy in life.

What Drives You to #AchieveMore?