In this post, I offer some thoughts on my experience working at GiveWell. I’ve had a number of different people ask me about this, and I think many people interested in effective altruism are curious about working there. So I thought I would explain my views in detail so that others who are thinking about working there have more information.
I worked at GiveWell for two months in 2012, during which time I mainly did literature reviews and constructed cost-effectiveness models for a few different interventions (breast-feeding promotion, vaccination for neonatal tetanus, vaccination for meningitis, and vaccination for measles).
While there, I primarily learned about how to do a literature search, how to evaluate research (especially causal attribution in economics), and how to construct cost-effectiveness models. I also learned a lot about how to run an effective organization in general, which may have been the most valuable part of the experience.
For people who may be a good fit and have the opportunity to work at GiveWell, I recommend trying it without hesitation. I believe that working at GiveWell is an outstanding opportunity for personal development and having an impact. I also found it a very enjoyable place to work.
I didn’t end up working at GiveWell because the work they wanted me to do didn’t line up well with the work that I wanted to do, working there offered me less autonomy than my best alternative (working at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford), and I believed that working at the Future of Humanity Institute would offer me more job security and options in the future.