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Rae Shih, age 21
Rae Shih, age 21
Company: District of Columbia Public Schools
Location: Washington, D.C.

After helping women start microcredit-funded businesses in Uganda two summers ago, this Northwestern student decided it was time for some domestic experience.

Washington, D.C., was a natural choice for the social policy major, and the public school system had an unpaid opening she could afford to take thanks to a university grant.

"It's an up-close and personal look at a school district at the cutting-edge of education reform," says Shih, who works in the Office of Out-of-School Time to help officials with the little things that make summer school run smoothly, like determining when students eat lunch and how to discipline late-arrivers.

"This is where you get a sense of research in action," Shih says.

She's still unsure whether she wants to spend her career in public policy abroad or Stateside, but thanks to her summer job, one thing's now certain: "If I do stay domestic," she says, "I'll definitely do education policy."

NEXT: Aaron Kaufman, age 22
Last updated July 31 2009: 11:37 AM ET
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