Service learning: I took part in Northeastern’s CBRI (Community-Based Research Initiative) class that studied the issue of underinsurance with an organization called Health Care for All. People are paying more for less inclusive insurance packages: they’re insured, but they may not have the coverage they need. We studied how the underinsured may forego (early) treatment and how that ultimately leads to higher health care costs.
Lessons learned: At first, the project was so large, I was scared I couldn’t do it. But now I know I can look at an extensive topic and get to the bottom of it if I work hard enough. I won’t be scared to face another big project.
Education value: The CBRI class was different from other courses because we could look at just one major problem in depth and with focus.
New skills: Interviewing stakeholders taught me good interviewing skills. I learned to ask issue questions, and to see that there are many sides to an issue.
Future in focus: Before CBRI, I was in the dark about what I was going to do. CBRI gave me direction, it taught me to look for solutions. It showed me I wanted to be involved in more than policy; I wanted to do something more active. It sent me looking for an MBA program that combined social policy and business. My finding and being accepted to Brandeis University's Heller School program in mission-based management is a direct outcome.
Service effect: CBRI is hands-on learning. You produce something tangible—a report with recommendations—that’s more than a class paper. It’s hard work, but rewarding.