Jesuit Education in the Real World

This summer, I am working in Philadelphia with the Commerce Department’s Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), whose mission is to attract businesses to the city that are owned by women, minority, and disabled vendors (MWDSBEs in OEO jargon). In two weeks at the OEO, I have organized and verified information in databases in preparation for the annual report on MWDSBE participation. You can check out the OEO’s reports and MWDSBE registry here:

Here’s a picture of my office building. It is a block away from City Hall and overlooks iconic Love Park:


I anticipate my time at Boston College will have prepared me for this internship. My favorite thing about Jesuit education is its emphasis on critical thinking in all disciplines. Since my internship only began recently, my work has been day-to-day while I get a sense of which projects I might enjoy. Regardless of which project I choose, I will apply the universal thinking skills with which Boston College has equipped me. This means approaching problems with an open mind, proposing new solutions to problems, asking for help when I am unsure, and learning from the work of my peer interns.

I think what most prepared me for success at my internship is the economic classes I have taken that challenged me to work with data. I was excited to take this internship because the opportunity to work with the OEO databases is an extension of the methods I have practiced. The two economics classes that prepared me the most for this were Econometric Methods with Professor Baum and Evolutionary Economics with Professor Cox. These professors challenged me to work with large data sets and analyze the data for complex relationships. Because of these classes, I feel comfortable with the prospect of working with such large data sets.

Written by Patrick Roehm, BC Class of 2017


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