Astrid Hasfura-Dada was born and raised in El Salvador. She completed her undergraduate degree at York University in Toronto, Canada. She returned home after graduation and started helping out with a non-profit organization called Fusalmo, which helps with the education of kids who live in violent areas of El Salvador. She moved to Washington DC in August 2015 to start her graduate degree in Security Policy Studies at the Elliott School. During her time at Elliott, she also interned at the Organization of American States, the Embassy of El Salvador, and the private sector. She graduated this past May 2017 with a concentration on Risk Analysis and Transnational Security and recently moved to New York to work in a business intelligence and investigations firm named Diligence.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I am an associate at Diligence in New York City. I work on conducting investigations and research as well as producing analysis that helps a variety of private sector clients who are looking to engage in new business endeavors in a globalized market.
What are the current trends driving the future of your career field and what advice would you provide an Elliott School graduate student that is interested in your field of work?
Technology has made it possible for the field of business intelligence to grow exponentially. The amount of information that is available today surpasses anything we have seen before. Nevertheless, as much as technology is contributing to producing better results in this field, human intelligence will always be relevant and necessary.
If you are interested in working in the field of business intelligence I would first recommend you learn about researching and writing for non-academic work. The way we conduct research and present information in the private sector is very practical and client-oriented; luckily there are many classes at the Elliott School that teach you to think, speak, and write in a way that will be of value in this field (e.g. Formal Briefing class, Alternative Analysis/ Red Team class, Business Intelligence class…). I would also recommend you learn a second language (or various languages).
And finally (also probably the most important general career advice ever), you live in DC, so: #network!!!!
When you need inspiration, you … ?
I first take a break, take a step back, and think on all the challenges that I have already overcome as well as all the things that once motivated me and pushed me to strive for more.
I feel like more often than not we get caught up on ourselves and I’ve learned that at the end of the day, no matter how much you love your job or how good you are at whatever you do, it is thinking about others that will inspire you and give you a reason to keep going. As we get more and more busy in life, we forget how fortunate we are and we forget how we once wanted to help change the world around us; I take inspiration from this.
If you won the lottery but could only spend money on three items/causes, what would they be?
- Is there a thing such as an unlimited airplane ticket?
- I would love to start various business ventures throughout Central America in order to help the many young, talented kids in my corner of the world to develop their skills and build fulfilling careers.
- I grew up going to the beach every weekend and it’s one of the things I miss the most, so getting a beach house would definitely be a great way to spend the rest of that lottery money (if I still have any left…. items 1 and 2 seem pretty pricey…)
The #ElliottProud series highlights Elliott School MA alumni and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming students. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.