My degree from Georgetown was critical to my successfully making the transition between very different fields.
Why did you choose Georgetown?
As someone who was trying to leap from an arts background to a career in public policy, I had perhaps more ground to cover than most MPP students. I needed very much to build both background knowledge and analytical skills that I could pick up academically, as well as more relevant work experience to get the kind of policy analysis job I wanted. Georgetown, with its strong quantitative focus and critically its location in D.C. offered me the best opportunity to do both.
How was your experience at Georgetown?
In both areas, building knowledge and skills and building work experience, my time at Georgetown fully met my hopes for my graduate school experience when I started. On top of that, I joined a class full of passionate and bright people dedicated to improving our society, and learned from professors who are leaders in their fields. The energy that the faculty and students add to your learning experience, as well as the network they represent, is invaluable.
Describe your current position and what led you to your job.
I am a Research Associate on federal fiscal issues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-profit think tank in D.C. My daily responsibilities involve quantitative analysis of budget plans and other policy proposals that come up in Congress and the White House, making charts and graphics, and drafting reports and blog posts. Through my work, I help people on the Hill and in the White House, journalists, and the public to understand the impact of different proposals on our society, with concern for low- and middle-income people in particular.
I have very broad interests, and like variety in my work, so getting to work on federal fiscal issues broadly and exercising quantitative, verbal, and visual skills for values I believe in, all in the same position is my dream job come true.
How has your degree from Georgetown helped your career?
My degree from Georgetown was critical to my successfully making the transition between very different fields. I was able to pick up the qualitative and quantitative foundation in public finance, economics, and statistics necessary to begin at my post-graduation job, and then to quickly build on that foundation on the job. Just as important, though, was the work experience I built through several internships while studying, which allowed me to demonstrate to employers my seriousness about and ability to work in public policy.
What advice would you give to a prospective McCourt School student?
Think about how it is your degree from the McCourt School is going help you get the job you couldn't before, or do what you couldn't before at your current job. Everything is at your fingertips at Georgetown, thanks to its location in D.C.: great academics and professors, internship opportunities in all fields, talks and conferences in all subject matters, even classes from other Georgetown and consortium schools. Be sure to take advantage of these resources to fill whatever personal gaps it is you're coming to Georgetown for, and to grow beyond just what you had planned.