We have all chosen to work with Oxfam on our Development Advisory Team this semester in our International Development in Practice Class. With this project we hope to have the opportunity to dive deeper into international supply chains and dissect the issues that exist along the processes. We look forward to assisting Oxfam and helping brands improve their social and environmental policies and practices especially within their supply chains. We are hopeful that we can help Oxfam accelerate the transformation to create a more sustainable and equitable food system that empowers those in need.
Name: Paola Bocock
Major/Minor: Marketing and International Business
Background: I was raised in both Miami and Costa Rica and have a lot of experience working and living abroad and am excited to have opportunities learning and relating to different cultures. I have experience working in the nonprofit sector as I was working on an ad campaign for a childhood cancer research foundation in Atlanta and learned a lot about fundraising and working with a small budget.
Why Oxfam: I wanted to work with Oxfam because I am curious about the social and environmental factors influencing supply chain and hope to take on a project to help create better practices in this regard. I have always been very interested in recycling, sustainability, climate change, and the environment in general since high school projects where we would collect recyclable goods and convert them into desks and chairs to donate to economically disadvantaged schools in Costa Rica. I believe that the ideas generated through this project could have a lasting impact on the way that companies run their business models as well as how they can make their practices more sustainable to benefit the communities around them. This is a cause that inspires me because I believe that the best way for companies to succeed is through helping people and having their brand recognized as one who values people over profits and in turn, developing a better, more sustainable environment for all.
Name: Cynthia Tran
Major: IT Management
Minor: Actuarial Science & Poverty Studies
Year: University of Notre Dame Class of 2019
Background: During my first few years at the University of Notre Dame, I planned to pursue a degree in Finance, with the intention of beginning work in a more managerial or operational side of the nonprofit sector. After taking two Economics courses for my Poverty Studies minor, I narrowed my focus to sustainability and education. In the past, I have worked on an investment pitch project with a sustainable apparel company and an education development program, based in South Africa. More recently, however, I have discovered a greater interest in data science and readjusted my studies towards IT Management and Actuarial Science, in order to be able to manipulate, model, and manage data. Why Oxfam: I am excited to apply both my business and data knowledge to this project. Last year, I had the opportunity to research topics of business ethics in multinational corporations, alongside Notre Dame professors and the former UN Chief Ethics Officer. After intensely studying the wide range of business decisions and operations, I realized that some forces that perpetuate the continuous suppression of regions are detrimentally integrated into companies’ daily activities and overhead. Multinational businesses have the opportunity to be, perhaps, the biggest agents in the development field, today -- I am excited to work with Oxfam on Behind the Brands to help develop and set this new precedent for development.
Name: Jackie Brebeck
Minors: International Development & Sustainability
Year: Notre Dame Class of ‘19
Background: I grew up mostly in Taiwan, and was privileged enough to travel throughout Southeast Asia. Through these travels, and through living in this region generally, I was exposed to the realities of income inequality, poverty, and bad labor practices. This is what led me to study international development, and also what led me to study business - from my observations and from reading on the topics, it seemed that the private sector could potentially have more impact on a country’s development, especially when governments are corrupt. I picked up the Sustainability minor because through learning about it in International Development classes, sustainable development has become a cause that I am very passionate about. Thus, I’ve pursued extracurriculars that give me experience working with international development and sustainability such as: working on impact investing projects with a club called Unleashed, becoming part of the Student Worker’s Participation Committee currently assisting the administration’s Workers’ Participation Committee in assessing Notre Dame’s own supply chains, and completing a 10-week long internship with a sustainable development community organization in South Bend. These experiences in combination with my Business background have shaped strong project management and research skills that will be useful for this project.
Why Oxfam: I am very excited about on this project because it lies at the nexus of many of my interests - business, international development, and sustainability. Businesses have a lot of influence just in the way that they treat their laborers, and with power comes responsibility - I believe that businesses are obligated to do their best to benefit the communities they operate in. Therefore, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with and learn more about the Behind the Brands campaign, as well as develop methods of evaluating its impact.
Name: Brendan Perry
Major: Applied Mathematics and Computational Statistics & Philosophy
Minor: Business Economics
Year: Notre Dame Class of ‘15
Background: After graduating from Notre Dame in May of 2015 I began working at the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) as a Research Associate. LEO is a research center housed in the Economics Department at Notre Dame that aims to identify the innovative, effective and scalable programs that help people move out of poverty. In my role, I work directly with service providers and local government to embed top-tier research designs into their work. Ultimately, I am responsible for managing the research project, analyzing all of the data produced by the study, and drafting the academic papers and policy briefs that show the results.
Why Oxfam: I am eager to work with Oxfam on the Behind the Brands campaign because I believe there is a strong need for better food sector governance. I am excited to put my evaluation experience to use and explore how we can effectively measure the impact of the campaign. Oxfam is a tremendous leader in development, and I am honored to be apart of their new efforts to influence social and environmental policy.
Name: Claire Danes
Major: Political Science and Economics
Minor: International Development Studies
Year: University of Notre Dame Class of 2018
Background: After traveling to countries in the developing world, including India, I discovered my interest in international development. While at Notre Dame, I decided to complement my international development minor with political science and economics majors in order to have a comprehensive understanding of current global issues. After completing internships at the U.S. House of Representatives and Strategas Research Partners, an economic consulting firm, I decided to pursue a research opportunity related to international development this past summer. Through funding from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, I traveled to Tanzania where I conducted interviews with people about mobile financial services in order to examine the gender gap in the usage of these services. This experience solidified my desire to work within the field of international development after graduation, hopefully involved in program management.
Why Oxfam: I wanted to work with Oxfam on the Behind the Brands project because I stand behind their mission to make the world one in which everyone has enough to eat. I believe that if the largest food and beverage companies are held accountable for what happens in their supply chains, they have the influence to make progress towards this goal. I think that I can be an asset on this project with my background, and I look forward to working towards a more sustainable food system with Oxfam.