Kok Hou Chia '11

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Name: Kok Hou Chia
Job: Research Analyst at Acumen, LLC
Current City: San Francisco, CA
School: Princeton - Class of 2011
Major: Religion with a certificate in Global Health & Health Policy
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At Princeton

Throughout my undergraduate years at Princeton, my extracurricular activities and internship experiences shaped my desire to pursue a career in public service. Outside of my academic work at Princeton, I was engaged in several community service activities such as founding and leading an on-campus chapter of an international eye care nonprofit (Princeton Unite For Sight), volunteering as a tutor for the Student Volunteers Council (SVC) , and participating in a Breakout trip exploring the intersection of religion and politics in Utah.

I spent my summers exploring various internship opportunities (made possible thanks to funding from the University as well as generous Princeton alumni), including writing about global health for Unite For Sight, exploring racial disparities in health care as a qualitative researcher for a dialysis facility, and creating sustainability projects as a (self-designated) social entrepreneur of sorts for a Kenyan orphanage. After graduation, I knew I wanted to apply the interpersonal and academic skills I developed at Princeton to pursue a career in public service and social justice advocacy.

After Graduation

To better understand the way in which government policy-making can affect people's lives, I accepted an offer in May 2011 to work as a research analyst for a California-based policy research and consulting firm that advises federal agencies on social and health care policy-making. As a research analyst, my primary responsibilities include developing research proposals and grant applications in conjunction with senior researchers; conducting literature reviews and online research; drafting executive summaries and policy briefs; coordinating conference calls with federal officials; and providing project management support. Currently, I am also part of a team working to facilitate the public reporting of physician quality information over the next few years to help Medicare beneficiaries make informed decisions about their medical care.

My position gives me the opportunity to see the "big picture," more specifically to understand the federal legislation driving health care reform from the ground up and to learn firsthand the challenges involved in implementing government policies. Though I find the work challenging and interesting, however, I do not consider my first job out of college to be a long-term commitment to any particular industry. Rather, I see it as an opportunity to acquire valuable workplace experience and to further develop my analytical thinking and communication as well as social skills. I believe this experience will set me up for future opportunities in whatever field I eventually choose to devote my time and energies to.


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