Ilya Lavrov, intern at the QoG Institute, Spring 2022
My name is Ilya Lavrov, I am a Master’s student of the Erasmus Mundus TISE programme and I was a summer intern at the Quality of Government Institute. I have a background in Political Science and I have always been interested in how political institutions of high quality are designed and what factors impact government effectiveness. Besides, I am keen on an academic career and would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science, so this internship was a prime opportunity for me to take a look at how research institutes operate on the inside and gain practical experience in such an organisation.
During the internship, I was a member of the Data team. I have worked on modifying and improving the QoG Compilation Datasets. I have also updated the QoG data finder by adding more variables to it, proofreading, and adjusting variable definitions. Furthermore, I have helped several QoG professors with data collection. Overall, I had a great experience working with massive QoG datasets and I am glad that I was able to contribute to the QoG Data.
A large part of my internship was also educational. My mentor Natalia Alvarado Pachon taught me how to produce insightful and appealing visualisations in R and then I applied the acquired skills to make a series of tweets about E-governance around the world which was published on the QoG Twitter. Not only did I work with the dataset and create the plots and maps but I also created a content plan, conducted a literature review on the topic, and analysed various case studies. Overall, it was a valuable experience for me, during which I learned how to pitch my ideas and attract the readers’ attention with a limited amount of words, allowed by the platform.
All in all, I had a very positive experience during the internship. I expanded my knowledge on the impact of the quality of government on various policy areas. Moreover, I improved my quantitative research skills, related to managing, processing, analysing, and visualising data. The atmosphere in the team was always very supportive and I could freely choose which tasks to complete, based on my research interests. I am grateful to the entire QoG team and would love to collaborate with many of them in the future!