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OUMAR BA
2013 Bezos Scholar
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Student Story

Scholar Spotlight: 2013 Scholar Oumar Ba

What are you up to right now? What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally, academically?
In May of 2018, I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. Since then, during the summer, I spent quality time with my family in Senegal. I have not been able to see my family since 2016 or experience the warm and peaceful Senegalese summers; this was quite a post-graduation treat.

Right now, I am a graduate student in Public Policy (MPP) at Sciences Po-Paris and will be living in Paris for the next two years, which is really exciting!

For this semester, in particular, I am working at an innovation studio lab called Schoolab as a Business Developer. I have been, mainly, in charge of optimizing our CRM tool and overall inflow of deals and in addition to training our 50 staff members on how to properly and efficiently use the tool.

Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar alumni, and if so — how?
I have not been in touch with the vast majority of BSP alumni, but social media outlets, such as Instagram, have made it easier to know what everyone has been up to. So, it’s nice to see, every once in a while, a quick snapshot, coupled with an inspiring or funny caption.

LinkedIn has been helpful as well in providing updates on BSP alumni’s professional endeavors.

Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds?
I am currently reading The Power, a novel by Naomi Alderman. This electrifying and historical novel delves into a science fictional world wherein women discover they possess the power to create, control, and release electricity in jolts from their fingers. I will, thus, let you figure out how this story unfolds and how women leverage their new power to become the dominant gender. I highly recommend it!

Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now?
I am continuously inspired by my parents whose personal stories epitomize an unwavering sense of family that is deeply rooted in hard work, resilience, love, excellence, empathy, and, furthermore, personify the meaning of Islam and Islamic teachings.

It is also truly inspiring to support and see my friends achieve their dreams and follow their passions whether it is a personal project, dream job, finding love and happiness, or further pursue academia.

And finally, I enjoy watching TED talks and inspiring interviews that highlight or stimulate new ideas and endless possibilities whether it is in innovation, entrepreneurship or another sector.

Anything else you want to share with the BSP community?
As I prepare for Ph.D. applications at the end of my Master’s program, I am continuously refining my research questions and focus on the existing gap in Policy (design, analysis, and evaluation) and innovation. In addition to the existing and traditional policy research methods, I seek to incorporate design thinking and other innovative entrepreneurial methods. In so doing, I will use this framework to further tackle larger issues such as economic development, education, governance, and international development.

If you know someone doing similar research in policy and innovation, I would love to get in touch with them.

Contributed by
OUMAR BA
2013 Bezos Scholar
Categories
Student Story