Coming into Grinnell College, Vrishali Sinha ’19 knew she wanted to pursue economics. Through a Sociology of Global Development course and the College’s social justice values, she realized she wanted that pursuit to be in the name of socially just development. As a business consulting analyst at professional services network EY, she did that by evaluating program impacts, economies, and social inclusion. Now, as a strategic project associate at Etsy, an ecommerce platform that economically empowers many women, she is moving from evaluating impact to creating it.
Through courses and conversations with peers, Sinha developed participation and critical thinking skills. She learned how to form educated opinions, while still understanding where people with different opinions are coming from and maintaining mutual respect. Instead of immediately assuming people with different opinions who make different choices are wrong, she says, “When you actually critically think of [their decisions] and you understand the structures that are [behind] these decisions, it is in fact a very rational decision.” This understanding was essential to her work at EY, where she interviewed people with opinions and choices opposite to her own.
Convergence of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sinha took a wide range of courses and developed a wide range of skills as a result. “Grinnell, specifically with the liberal arts education, gives you tools and confidence to really tackle a really wide range of activities … It definitely makes you stand out,” she explains. Her diverse skills equipped her to do diverse work. At EY, she says, “I got a lot of exposure that isn’t typically given to an analyst.” In that position, she combined her quantitative and qualitative skills to create the first mapping of child marriage programs in Bangladesh. “There was nobody else on my team who really had that skill [to quantify qualitative data],” she says.