Meet Lauran Navarro, someone who has been inspired to think big and take on the world thanks to her Master of International and Development Economics.
Laura Navarro says when she found the Master of International and Development Economics program at ANU it ticked the boxes of everything she was looking for.
“I have a background in international studies, and professionally I worked as a research assistant for many years in the Department of Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Guadalajara back home in Mexico, so I always had that intellectual curiosity for this region.
“When I decided to do a master’s, I wanted to combine that region, the background in my bachelor degree, and, having worked in a number of international organisations, economic development was always something that I was interested in too.
“Plus, I was in Australia years ago doing an exchange so I knew it had to be Australia. I loved Australia.”
But, Laura was in for a shock when she started the Graduate Diploma of International and Development Economics as an introduction to the master’s program.
“It has proven to be a little more difficult than I thought! My background is not in economics so even though I have knowledge of how economics works in how it applies to an international relations area, I’m not familiar with everything underneath, the gears that move everything.
“So this year was very technical but it has proven very useful because it teaches you all the tools you need for the master’s. It has been very rewarding. You start to see your perspective changing, and the way you look at things.”
Laura says her perspective has changed not just academically, but beyond that, to how she envisions her future.
“I feel like I will graduate with a prestigious degree, and that starts to open doors of possibilities for you. I’ve started thinking, ‘What if I apply to the UN Young Professionals Program?’ And I’ve always had my eye on the Young Professionals Program of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington too. Everything you learn here, it gives you the level you need to apply for something like that.
“The program allows you to think big. You know you’re in a place where what you’re learning is relevant. It kind of makes you ambitious!”
Laura is no stranger to success already, having been one of only 30 people chosen from around the world to be a United Nations youth delegate.
“I was a youth representative for Mexico so I went to the General Assembly in New York and for the rest of the year I was in contact with the program, working on issues of advancement for young people in our countries, and giving our opinion as young representatives.”
She says her experience in international relations has only confirmed for her the importance of training in economics.
“With international relations you will stay too much on the surface if you don’t understand the economics behind it. International and development economics helps you with that, and I’m hoping I can combine my social sciences background with economics as a way to help me get what I want in my ambitions.”