Master’s in Public Policy: Student Experience

Master’s in Public Policy: Student Experience


People talk about diversity. We really have diversity of experience among our students and faculty. That’s partly because we
offer the flexibility of choosing your area of emphasis and taking courses while
working full time, and that ends up reinforcing each other. Regarding the MPP program, what I like best, I would have
to say it’s my classmates. I think they come from
such a variety of backgrounds, and most of them being
part-time students, full time employees like me, they come from federal agencies, from a private sector, non-profits. So being able to collaborate with them is probably my favorite part
of the program. My long-term career goal
is hopefully to be able to work with
an international organization. Specifically in African countries. I know that a lot of the work
that I was able to do here through research papers and
actually working with teachers who have international background
is something that has aided me in understanding what
opportunities are out there, as well as how I can get
into those opportunities. At Mason what we’re
really trying to marry, is theory and practice and applicability. Those three things are not
always that easy to get at once. What we do is draw on
the strengths of Washington DC, the people that we have around us, and the student expertise as well. What makes the program
really unique for me, is my ability to really
tailor my area of emphasis. They have eight or 10
focus areas right now, but if you really want to tailor
something you really want to do, the program is very flexible
and allows you to do that. George Mason’s location
and is prime-time, we are right in the backyard
of the capital, if not right beside it. I think that gives students who
are going into public policy, upper-hand especially living here compared to students who are going
to school in North Carolina, or somewhere else in Southern Virginia. It’s like they don’t have
the advantage of seeing the work that you’re potentially going
into, right in front of you. What you want to get out of an MPP
or any professional degree, is a set of core skills that
will carry you forward, network connections, and location, the ability to get a job
after you graduate. I don’t know of an MPP program that offers that combination
the way that Mason does, where you can meet people from
across the policy spectrum at different levels of expertise and at different stages in
their career in the classroom, at our events, and with our faculty.

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