MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy - 2012
Why did you choose Wagner for graduate school?
I wanted to be in New York, and I wanted a practical, hands-on degree from a top institution with a diverse student body. Wagner provided that. It enabled me to study international development and human rights theory with people working in different sectors around the world, and it provided me with the hard skills my career requires, like financial management and program evaluation. Capstone was the final selling point for me, and that experience was one of the most valuable learning opportunities I've ever had.
How would you describe your experience as a Wagner student?
I cherish my time at Wagner. I loved engaging in graduate-level study of the issues I care about, while obtaining the skills I needed to be a more effective leader and change maker. I was consistently challenged to be better by professors, who were experts and leading practitioners in their fields, and by my peers, whose diverse experiences and perspectives encouraged me to think more deeply or expansively about public problems and policy/program responses. I particularly valued the approachability of the faculty — something I think is very special to Wagner — and the strong sense of community among the student body. I gained lifelong friends there.
How did you find your first post-Wagner job?
Idealist — they even made a video about it! — and by staying very organized and leveraging what Wagner had to offer. I didn't start landing interviews until I sat down with Wagner’s Office of Career Services and dug into how to strengthen my resume and cover letters. I am also a firm believer in networking and informational interviews to broaden your sense of what's possible and to hone in on what you want to do and how to get there. They're great even if you're employed because they help you keep a pulse on relevant fields and emerging opportunities. I've had about 100 of these useful conversations in the past three years; the vast majority of them can be traced back to a Wagner contact.