Wooster alumna focuses on economic development in Northeast Ohio

Natalie Sin '22

After Ngwe (Natalie) Sin ’22 chose The College of Wooster for her undergraduate journey, her initial decision to major in economics took a turn. “During my first-year seminar course on global health and inequality, I realized that I did not want to focus solely on economics and decided to major in global and international studies.” An interdisciplinary major at Wooster, global and international studies allows students to choose a focus in economics, history, or political science. Sin incorporated a concentration in economics and explored fields ranging from French to religion, gaining new perspectives in her professional and personal life.

Through her Independent Study as a senior, Sin’s perspective about where her career interests lie broadened. Her I.S. topic was female representation in parliament and how it affects growth in countries. “The current existing measures such as GDP (gross domestic product) aren’t inclusive of women’s contributions, especially in terms of unpaid work women do,” said Sin, who investigated practices in multiple countries and tested if the presence of women in parliament would have an impact on growth in terms of GDP and the human development index. Learning about gender gaps in the labor force and examining their impacts on demographics for her I.S. proved to be insightful for Sin’s career path.

Her I.S. research cultivated an interest in nonprofit organizations and societal growth, which Sin pursues as a research associate at Team NEO, an economic development nonprofit based in Northeastern Ohio. She is using the work experience as her OPT, or Optional Practical Training, a federal program that allows international graduates to work in their area of study while on their student visa through the College for one year. Working with 18 counties in the area, Team NEO focuses on attracting businesses and promoting economic development. In addition to being a network partner with JobsOhio, their clients include local development organizations, businesses, and higher education institutions.

“My day-to-day includes providing data analysis, and contributing to reports and publications focusing on talent equity and the current workforce,” said Sin, who helped develop a narrative to organize the publications. The time and workload management she cultivated at Wooster aids her in carrying out independent projects.

“The classes at Wooster were academically rigorous and helped set me up for my career,” emphasized Sin. She credits the technical knowledge and skills she developed in her economics and statistics classes for teaching her to manage the heavy research and writing involved in her senior I.S. and now at her job. Sin’s experience using resources in APEX, Wooster’s Center for Advising, Planning, and Experiential Learning, and building relationships with professors helped her find opportunities after graduation. Brooke Krause, associate professor of economics and business economics, instilled an interest in economic development for Sin. Her classes made a big impact on me.” Krause was also her first-year seminar professor, academic, and senior I.S. advisor

With a newfound interest in public policy through experiencing the intersection between economics and politics through her work, Sin has a clear view of her next steps. “I will be continuing to work at Team NEO and hope to go on to graduate school,” she said. Once I have enough work experience, I want to expand more into the field of public policy.

Posted in Alumni on March 16, 2023.