Tahira Chaudary graduated in May 2015 with a Master of International Public Affairs degree. She is currently working with the Department of Public Instruction as an education consultant.
Tahira Chaudary is investing in her own education with an eye toward someday helping people in Pakistan develop their own human capital.
A student in the Master of International Public Affairs degree program, Chaudary and her family came to Milwaukee from Pakistan when she was 10 years old. After graduating from Marquette University in 2009, she worked for the World Allergy Organization in several capacities.
"One of the most interesting projects was managing translation of the WAO Anaphylaxis Guidelines," Chaudary says. "We started out with translating them into Spanish and French, and because there was such a high demand, we translated them in Arabic, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish. The guidelines are available in poster and pocket version and serve as an education tool for physicians worldwide in the assessment and management of anaphylaxis."
As WAO communications manager, Chaudary administered management of the website, helped create press releases, managed the creation and distribution of the organization's e-newsletters and managed social media. "I worked on the annual World Allergy Week campaign to raise awareness of allergic disease and related disorders and advocate for the provision of training and resources in the diagnosis, management, and prevention of these diseases and asthma, which are rising in prevalence around the world," she says. "This year's theme was Food Allergy—A Rising Global Health Problem. Through collaboration with our member societies around the world, patient advocacy groups and individual allergists, we increased awareness. It was pretty exciting to be a part of all the action."
Chaudary decided she wants to improve her quantitative skills so she could build a career in international development. "My undergrad major in global politics, my work experience and my passion for working on development issues all drew me to seek a master's degree in international public affairs," Chaudary says. "The La Follette School's Master of International Public Affairs degree is helping me gain the skills and experience I need to build a successful career in international development."
She chose the La Follette School because of "its focuses on helping me develop quantitative and qualitative skills need to succeed in the international public policy arena," she says. "I also chose La Follette because of its multidisciplinary approach on academics."
She also appreciates the small class sizes. "La Follette's small class size is one of my favorite things about the program," Chaudary says. "It offers me a chance to get to know each and every one of my classmates, along with my professors."
A co-community service and outreach coordinator for the La Follette School Student Association, Chaudary is enjoying getting to know her classmates. "I've always been a fan of being a part of something that involves people working towards a common goal," Chaudary says. "I think most people who come to La Follette have a passion for community service, and I wanted to help create opportunities for our student body to give back to the local community."
After Chaudary graduates, she hopes to work for an organization that focuses on overcoming development problems in South Asia, primarily Pakistan.
"I was born in Pakistan and spent the first eight years of my life there," she says. "Since Pakistan became a country in 1947, it has faced countless issues including poverty, major illiteracy and political instability. I think at the core of all Pakistan's problems is the lack of investment in human capital. A majority of the population is illiterate, which is a main reason poverty is so prevalent and why there's so much government corruption. My hope is to somehow take part in changing things around in Pakistan, starting with education."