Graduate Program Student Ambassadors

Through their personal experience as graduate students in our Applied Economics and International and Development Economics programs, our Program Outreach Assistants can connect with prospective students to answer questions and help navigate resources available at USF and in the Economics department.

If you are a prospective or admitted student, please feel free to email our Student Ambassadors. 

Student Ambassadors will not be able to provide guidance on specific questions regarding applications and admissions policies and procedures, or any questions that involve specific personal information. Please contact the Program Manager,, for these types of questions.

Faheema Elssar

International and Development Economics MS Program Ambassador

Contact Faheema at

MS IDEC Student Ambassador, Faheema Eissar

I am Faheema, and I am a first-year graduate student in MS in International and Development Economics. 

Over the past seven years, I have had the chance to reconnoiter working in different sectors in Afghanistan, public, and private sector, as well as with international organizations. I have held different positions at each of these sectors, but they have all led me to one thing: lack of adequate data, and even more so of an accurate translation of these data into actionable policies that can work for my country. That is what led me to steer my way through International and Development Economics at the University of San Francisco. 

  • Where do you call home? Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • Why did you choose to pursue a master’s degree in MS IDEC? Because I want to be prepared to contribute to the development of my country in the most meaningful way I can, and in the meantime enjoy what I am doing. What I am learning in MS IDEC prepares me not only for rigorous field research but data analysis and policy advocacy. 
  • What have been some of the highlights of your experience so far in the program?  I have come to understand and love the fact that the program is so well designed and well planned that one doesn’t have to come from an Econ background to succeed. If one has enough derive and enough love for this field, and put enough effort, they will certainly succeed. 
  • How do you like living and attending classes in San Francisco?  Apart from being one of the most expensive cities in the US, it is one of the most beautiful and welcoming places I have been to as well - very easy to navigate, easy to roam around, many things to discover and enjoy, it is a fascinating place to be in. I’m loving it.

Rohan Parikh 

Applied Economics MS Program Ambassador 

Contact Rohan at 

 MSAE Student Ambassador, Rohan Parikh"Hi everyone! My name is Rohan Ilesh Parikh. I am in the 2nd year of my graduate study in the field of Applied Economics here at the University of San Francisco. Having worked for the 3 years in the field of Asset Management I concluded that data would play an important role, not only in the way we conduct businesses, but also understand the broader world around us. Being able to understand data and perform actions on it will be an important skill in the coming future. The University of San Francisco’s Applied Economics program provides a perfect mix of both Economics and Data Science.  The exceptional teaching style, and perfectly curated and flexible coursework here at USF allows me to not only develop my Economics concepts but also develop the necessary tools I would require to enter the field of data science. I look forward to meeting you all!"

  • Where do you call home? The city of Mumbai, India
  • Why did you choose to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Economics? Post my graduation, I worked with the largest asset management company in India as an analyst., where I got an understanding of the needs of data science in the business world today. Given my commerce background and liking for economics, I looked for a course that would develop my data science skills from an economic viewpoint and the Applied Economics course at USF was a perfect mix.
  • What have been some of the highlights of your experience so far in the program? The program is rigorous and can get intense at times. The faculty and the students within the program’s help and guidance have been very important in the journey so far. In the end, consistency has been a key element in the course.
  • How do you like living and attending classes in San Francisco? Although I moved to San Francisco in the end of August 2021. My experience within the classroom has unfortunately been purely over zoom during my first semester. I have recently started attending classes in person on Campus and the experience so has been positive. The city as a whole has been extremely welcoming. The food in the city has been amazing! The Asian food especially the ramen bowls in the city are worth dying for.