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Nikita Setia (’13): Broadening Horizons and Using Technical Skills to Make a Difference

February 25, 2021

Nikita Setia has the satisfaction of knowing that her work is making a real difference in people’s lives. In her role as statistical programmer for Acumen LLC, she provides government clients with the information they need to solve some of our most pressing public policy issues, primarily in the area of health policy. Her current project is focused on the problem of opioid overutilization. Prior to joining Acumen LLC, Nikita was the manager of the Nanhi Kali Centres project at Naandi Foundation in India, where she planned and executed the scale-up of the pilot project to empower young girls.

In addition to her Northwood undergraduate degree, she has earned two graduate degrees: An MS in Public Policy and Management (Data Analytics) from Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University (2019) and an MA in International Affairs from the Elliott School, George Washington University (2015).

Nikita arrived at Northwood University after having lived only two years in the United States. “I was definitely not in my comfort zone at first, but that didn’t last long. I found a welcoming campus and I benefited from being exposed to multiple perspectives provided by students of different backgrounds.” She became very active in campus activities and excelled academically. She won the “Outstanding International Student Award,” “Management Award” and was Salutatorian in her graduating class.

“I appreciated individual attention professors provided; I value the mentoring relationships I developed with some professors that continue to this day.” She says her Northwood education “keeps on giving” because of its continued relevance to her graduate studies and career. Her advice to prospective students is, “learn those technical skills early that will enable you to quickly begin working in a career that matches your passion.”

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