Where are you studying?
I recently finished my MBA at the Yale School of Management where I focused my studies and curricular engagement on defining leadership in the Digital Age.
What were your main duties as a Microsoft fellow?
My duties as a fellow were broad and diverse, one of the highlights of Microsoft’s team! I spent time conducting research on leading edge civic engagement tools and strategies in the sustainability, circular economy, and women’s empowerment spaces. Additionally, fellows were given the opportunity to represent Microsoft at GovTech and Civic Tech events around NYC, helping to develop a stronger local community of those working to use tech for social good.
As a team, we worked on several longer-term projects including a demo of Microsoft Translator, a high-profile Women In Power dinner where we assembled leaders from across sectors to ascertain credible next steps on gender equality, and a playbook that codifies one of Microsoft’s most successful pilot programs, Tech Jobs Academy.
What has been your favorite project with the Technology and Civic Engagement Team?
My favorite project has definitely been working with our team’s Director, John Paul Farmer, on the Tech Jobs Academy Playbook. Tech Jobs Academy is a program of which our team has run two iterations, starting in 2015. The program offers low-skilled tech workers access to a four-month intensive training program that taught them the tech skills most sought by local NYC employers and Microsoft partners, at no cost to the trainees. This intervention raised average salaries by over $30,000, a life-changing increase. Our team spent the past few months analyzing our learning from the program and assembling a comprehensive playbook that will allow our partner cities to run their own version of the Tech Jobs Academy program.
Where is civic tech taking you next?
Next, I will be joining the Institute for Education as their COO & Chief Strategy Officer. The organization fosters bipartisanship and is leading the way on issues relating to Tech in Gov.
What advice do you have for future fellows?
My advice to future fellows would be to remember that Civic Tech is just as much about the “civic” as it is about the “tech.” The most rewarding conversations and experiences I had during my fellowship all took place meeting new and interesting people and exploring the unique and spread-out organizations focused on using tech from good in NYC.
Tags: Institute for Education, Kaivan Shroff, Microsoft, Microsoft Civic Tech Fellow, Microsoft New York, Microsoft New York Civic Tech Fellow, Microsoft Translator, New York, Tech Jobs Academy, Yale School of Management