Full Steam Ahead Retreat Reflections

Designed for students with one year remaining at NYU Wagner, the "Full Steam Ahead" retreat is a day of reflection, forecasting, and skill building in an inclusive and collaborative environment.

Read the comments from the students who took part in this year's retreat below.


Image of the retreat

Brittany A Mazzurco (MPA-PNP)

While I have absolutely loved the NYU Wagner community from the very first moment I arrived at NYU, I have to admit that I have struggled to find time to take advantage of it. As a part-time student (taking 9 credits) serving as a teaching assistant who also works full-time, my days are full. The time I spend outside of work and school is usually dedicated to homework, studying, the occasional trips to visit loved ones, and (sometimes) catching up on sleep. And yet, when I saw Associate Dean David Schachter’s invitation for the “Full Steam Ahead” retreat pop up in my inbox, I knew I needed to make time for this. So, on Sunday, April 7, 2019, I walked into the Kimmel Center thoroughly exhausted but excited for the day ahead. And, it did not disappoint.


The day consisted of a series of activities to allow students to connect with their professional aspirations and with each other. The sessions not only included great advice, but they reinforced something I already knew—the NYU Wagner community is full of the most helpful, selfless individuals in the world. Whether a student is struggling with finding an internship or feels a little disconnected from other NYU Wagner students, we wrapped up the day with a series of peer-generated action items to help us achieve our goals.


Students participating in the retreat.

Ryan Newberry (MPA-PNP)

Attending the “Full Steam Ahead” retreat was a refreshing reminder that, with one year left until we graduate, each student at NYU Wagner is as much an individual human being as we are future public servants.

Grad school moves quickly, so one of the things I love about NYU Wagner is the opportunity the staff carves out for reflection and perspective. It’s kind of amazing to stop and contemplate just how far I’ve come in a little less than two semesters. It was nice to step out of the daily grind, putting our homework and studies on hold long enough to consider how our career goals and public service ambitions have evolved since we first set foot on campus all those months ago.


Three students at the retreat.

Ignacio Aravena (MUP),  2019-2020 Urban Planning Student Association Board Chair

This retreat focused on reflecting and learning new tools for facing the new challenges ahead. This is important since we need to start preparing for the last year of our programs, which includes our capstone projects and job searching. We spent the morning reflecting and learning from others’ histories, which was very useful for realizing how we share similar values and experiences.

NYU Wagner’s retreats always remind me about the value of working in teams and how everyone can add value despite our differences.

Image of one moment at the retreat.

Janay Daniel (MPA-PNP)

Though we are all attending NYU Wagner for different reasons (education, healthcare, strengthening communities and families), our common thread is that we all approach our future careers in public service with optimism, and we choose to move forward, taking risks in doing what we love, and being solid in our identities.

Arguably the best part about the day: The collective intelligence conversations, which gave us a chance to speak with some of our peers in a group of three, asking for and sharing advice on a pressing topic that we are currently following that regards our future careers after NYU Wagner.

In the end, we were able to look around the room and smile knowing that we were among our people, and together, we are supporting each other as we get ready to walk across the finish line (and stage) in a year’s time. Here’s to NYU Wagner 2020.