Madeline Roesler


Madeline Roesler '18

Title: Policy Research and Development Specialist

Employer: Instacart

What do you enjoy the most about your position?

I love being able to research current policy trends on labor policy, urban and rural food deserts, and food insecurity in my job. I get to apply research tools I learned in undergrad to real world policy problems and help my business understand and shape the policy landscape in our corporate industry.

What is a typical day like?

Typically I have desk research on daily policy briefings, as well as cross functional meetings with product engineers, brand marketing folks, and business ops teams. I help these teams understand what’s happening in the policy world that may shape the future of our work. I also meet with think tanks in DC who may be interested in partnering to do research projects on food insecurity and food access with Instacart's massive data reach.

How did you find this job?

My first job out of college was a federal consulting position for a company called ICF International. That led me to this roll because it gave me a deep understanding of federal policy and regulations, and I found out that I was really passionate about social policy like labor, agriculture, and others. But I also realized that serving clients through consulting in the end wasn’t for me, so I job searched for about 8 months and found this role on LinkedIn for Instacart.

Which undergraduate experiences did you find most helpful in preparing you for your current position?

I think my internships and some of the UMD professors I formed close relationships really sparked a passion for economic policy that prepared me to explore this field. 

How has your coursework helped you in your current position?

Definitely econometrics, urban economics, and the current American policy coursework I took helped me a lot in my previous and current position. I can read academic articles with a critical eye and I understand what makes good policy from the objectivity I learned from those courses. I also can talk to really established researchers and understand their methods, as well as communicating to cross-functional teams what research might matter to our corporate goals.

Any job or internship advice for students seeking a position in your field? 

Ask all the questions you can, and don’t be afraid to consider a job in a field that you may have not considered. My role is very applicable to my major, but I never thought I’d work at an app-based tech company!

Anything else you want to share with our undergraduates?

Make sure you make great relationships with your professors. Meet with them one-on-one, not to talk about assignments or ask them for something but just to get to know them. It helped me immensely later in my academic time when I needed advice, recommendation letters, or just someone to visit on campus.