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HI, I'M ALENA.

I am a Pakistani-American born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I am a Junior at Yale University, where I am majoring in political science. I study inequalities of all sorts in my political science classes and am hoping my computer science coursework can help me devise real-world solutions to these real-world problems. Outside of school, I enjoy practicing yoga, reading and trying new foods. I am obsessed with Thai cuisine (always extra spicy) and almond milk boba tea (always extra boba).

MY WORK

Kraft Heinz Company

Category Marketing Intern | Chicago, IL

During Summer 2019, I uncovered whitespace innovation opportunities for the Meals team (think billion dollar brands like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Velveeta). Ultimately, I was able to develop a growth plan that is projected to grow the portfolio by 2.5% year-over-year in incremental bottom-line (CMA). I was also able to begin execution on two of my recommendations. First, I began the ideation process for a display tactic for a large c-store customer that is projected to generate $250K (incremental CMA). I then also worked on developing a product sell-story for two major retailers, which is projected to bring in an additional quarter million in incremental CMA. Throughout my time at KHC, I not only worked on a lot of big brands, but ate a load of them too. I'm probably 50% Mac & Cheese at this point if I'm being honest!

EF Education First

Project Management Intern | Boston, MA

I spent Summer 2018 facilitating learning opportunities for the 1600 students, educators, partners, staff and keynote speakers Glen Keane and Randi Zuckerberg who attended the 2018 Global Leadership Summit (“The Impact of Technology on Society”) held in Berlin, Germany. I managed several cross-functional workflows for the first-ever Partner Expo at this Summit which contributed to 4x more interactions between partner organizations and students than previous years. Alongside my work for the Summit, I analyzed data on customer retention and proposed new company-wide targets. I also collaborated with other interns to develop a business proposal that identifies innovative strategies that can be used to increase customer buy-in. When I wasn't at work, you could find me running along the Charles River or at Trader Joe's.

Dallas District Attorney's Office

Intern | Dallas, TX

In Summer 2017, I worked on 5 murder cases, 3 intoxication manslaughter cases, 2 manslaughter cases, 1 sexual assault case, and 2 aggravated assault of a public servant cases, one of which received significant press coverage. I had the opportunity to carefully screen case documents, jail calls, crime scene footage and defendants’ backgrounds. Ultimately, I put everything together to formulate summaries, develop witness contact lists, interview witnesses, and draft subpoenas. Working so closely with Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys allowed me to get a glimpse of the challenges that plague the American incarceration system. When I wasn't working on murder cases, I was directing a performance with 40 cast members (although I must clarify -- I've never danced a day in my life so this was a huge learning curve). After 8 weeks of long rehersals, we had the opportunity to perform in front of an audience of 13,000!

CollegeVine

Consultant | Remote

Over the last three years, I have consulted clients on best practices throughout the college application process in hopes of minimizing the mentorship disparity between private and public-school applicants. I care deeply about youth development and have worked within the college prep industry for 4 years. I specialize in essay ideation and development.

MY PROJECTS

YHack

Director | New Haven, CT

As we prepare for our fifth annual hackathon to be held from November 30th to December 2nd, I am coaching sub-teams through the sponsor acquisition phase to raise $250,000. I also work with my co-directors to leverage team member strengths to effectively coordinate logistics (registration, transportation, venue, food, sponsors, contracting, A/V, scheduling, materials, safety) for this 36-hour hackathon. Prior to becoming a director of this event, I joined the team as a member. I coordinated with rideshare services to reduce airport to campus transportation costs and improve hacker experience. I also facilitated the formation of diverse groups and adding diversity-based activities to the 2017 YHack schedule.

Hustle.

Developer | New Haven, CT

Through a class project, I discovered that Yale students often struggle to discover career paths that interest them because of the university's liberal arts structure. I also knew that the career office publishes a list of graduating students (along with their major, industry, and position) each year. Despite the resource's potential to be immensely useful for students needing more guidance, no one really knows about these lists. My hypothesis is that no one is using these lists, first because they are difficult to locate and, second because they aren't easily searchable -- they're merely unlinked excel sheets. In order to make this data more user-friendly, I am building a software that uses a simple SQL backend to store all the data, Python to run the program, and a HTML/CSS/Javascript to receive input from the user. This project is currently in a testing phase.

Global Patterns of Gender-Based Participation in Tech Industries

Researcher | New Haven, CT

Last semester, I produced a research paper for a class that explored reasons why women were underrepresented in the technology industry, despite having many features that experts have stated appeal to women when choosing a career path (flexibility, shorter timelines, etc.). In my research, I compared primate habits to human habits and found that females are socialized to prefer to collaborate with all types of people while males prefer only to collaborate with males. As such, it may be that if more females enter the technology industry, males will start to exit. While this wasn't the point of my research for your class, I was intrigued by this theory and began to do some independent research. I am now exploring the possibility of a “gender-fication” of the tech industry by studying human tendencies and international patterns.

MY BOOKSHELF


"Zeitoun" by Dave Eggers
Non-fiction
This is a captivating based-on-a-true-story novel about a family's escape from Hurricane Katrina and the discrimination they face as they try to keep their family together. Although I loved the book, the real-life characters have a devestating backstory. Read about it here once you read the book.

"You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero
Non-fiction
This is a easy-to-read self-help book. Jen is easy to follow, funny and relatable. If you need a confidence boost to make a big decision or even just to feel better about yourself, pick this book up!

"Work Rules!" by Laszlo Bock
Non-fiction
Eager to learn about how to lead flat-structured teams? Based on Google's best practices, this book will teach you so many management tips and tricks that will help you learn how to empower your teams and become an effective leader.

"Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson
Fiction
This novel tells the story of a high-school girl who is outcasted after calling the cops and busting a party. She eventually speaks up for herself and exposes the upperclassman boy who raped her at that very party. This book exposes the struggles and challenges of being a disenfranchised teenager grappling with this terrible assault. I found this book to be particularly moving because of the multiple child abuse and sexual assault cases I witnessed during my summer internship at the Dallas District Attorney's Office.

"We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Non-fiction
Just read this one - trust me.

"Imaginary Homelands" by Salman Rushdie
Non-fiction
This collection of essays tells the story of so many displaced persons and the internal and external challenges they face. This book opened my mind up so much and pushed me to really put myself in others shoes.

MY CONTACT

alena.rajwani@yale.edu
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