Shujie Medy Xu, pursuing a MSESP at Harris Public Policy, worked as an intern at Argonne National Lab’s Environmental Division. There, she assessed the economic value of replacing conventional crops with biofuel crops on land within the Mississippi River Basin to mitigate harm to marine life in the Gulf of Mexico caused by a depletion in oxygen levels from agricultural run-off. An accountant for nearly a year before enrolling at Harris, the experience of conducting independent research was new to Xu, and something she said will be valuable in her future career.

“Though I am not planning to be a full-time researcher, having such amazing research experience is very helpful in terms of achieving my career goal of becoming an environmental or sustainability consultant,,” Xu said. “Thinking critically and independently is essential in the consulting field, and the geo-coding skills I learned during the internship will also be very useful in my future career.”