This summer, Miku Fujita (SEAS’20) has been working where technology and policy intersect. As an intern with the Brookings Center for Technology Innovation (CTI), Miku has been working with CTI director Darrell West, conducting research on the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics within e-commerce and its policy implications. A systems engineer, Miku is passionate about the utilization of data analysis and mathematical modeling in policy making, something that she has been excited to learn about firsthand at Brookings. She discusses that and more in her mini-profile.
What areas of public policy interest you?
I’m really interested in health policy. As a systems engineer, my interest is in applying the same tools and methodologies to make health care policy (and policy in general) more efficient, cost effective, accessible, and better quality. I also think it’s really important to get more engineers involved in public policy, so working at CTI has been rewarding.
I feel like I’m making an impact. Seeing blog posts I’ve contributed to on the Brookings website, and thinking about how the work I’ve done on my project with Darrell West will actually inform the public is really exciting.
What does a typical day in DC look like for you?
In terms of my work day, I walk to the office and get in at 9am. I’ll check and respond to emails first. I get Brookings Briefs, which highlight some of the work the people here are doing, so I’ll scan through those articles to get a sense of what my colleagues are working on. Then I’ll get to work on whatever I have going on. I attend events, write and edit blog posts, and work on my long term project. I’m also working with the Center for Effective Public Management on another project, involving machine learning and the EPA’s direct final rule making. It’s been great to work with another center on something that I’m interested in.
After work, depending on the day, I’ll either go to dinner with friends, or go to different events. I recently saw Coco at a park with my coworkers, which was really fun. On the weekends, I’ve been exploring restaurants and museums around the city. It’s been really cool. There’s so much to do in DC.
Have there been any surprises regarding living and working as an intern in DC?
I’ve been surprised at how helpful and friendly everyone is. I’ve been to a couple of the Informational Interviews with Penn alums and it’s been super helpful. They’ve been open and receptive to my questions, and have let me know that I can reach out with questions in the future. Everyone’s just been so helpful.
Name one object that you brought with you to DC that reflects your personality.
I brought a first aid kit with all the essentials: medicine, band aids, cortisone, lip balm, etc. I really like to be prepared.
In 30 years, what will you remember about living and working in DC?
I recently did the White House West Wing visit with White House Fellow Jeff McLean, and it was really amazing. It’s not open to the public, so it’s kind of a once in a lifetime experience. I felt very privileged that I got to do that. Being able to see the Oval Office or the White House Press Room and knowing that so much history has taken place in those rooms was mind blowing.