In my semester plus as an MPP at Price, there haven’t been too many surprises, and the ones that have come up have been positive ones. Things like how easy it is to get involved in student orgs and make a difference in my short time here and just how many people of diverse backgrounds and experiences I’d have the chance to work with have certainly surpassed my expectations.
One thing caught me off guard coming in even though I knew I would need to be prepared for coming in, and would have been helpful to prepare for more last summer before I started. We MPPs got thrown pretty much straight into the fire work-wise, with a lengthy literature review due a couple weeks in to the semester (and another paper due for many a week later, too.) While this was a great opportunity for us to get into the swing of things quickly and bust that summer hangover right away, I wished that over the summer I had taken some time to review some academic journals and research papers I had written in the past so I was more prepared to take on these tasks from the get-go at Price. Having been out of school or 3 years it was a big adjustment! If you’re coming from a few years in the work world, consider taking some time to prep yourself so you can hit the ground running. Taking a summer class and using that to ease yourself in to the study and time-management skills unique to being in school would be helpful too.
On a different note, one thing I wish I learned more about before coming to Price is the sheer number and breadth of events and ways to get involved in learn outside of class that have been available to me. When I visited Price for a welcome event, I had the chance to learn some about student orgs, but it was a (wonderful!) surprise to see just how much is going on in the Price community outside of class. On any given week there are seminar lunches from research centers like METRANS, networking nights from student groups like the Price Latino Students Association, mixers and Service Days from GPAC, and much more. It’s amazing to see how much work Price students put into community-building even though most of us are only here for 2 years. It’s a testament to how much all of us care about learning, helping others, building our own skills, and preparing for our careers in the policy world. Joining these orgs and going to more events has been a great way to connect with students in other programs too.
Coming to Price and being a part of this community has already been an amazing experience even after just a semester. Make sure you’re prepared to take on the rigorous academics and to be a part of an active community wanting to make a difference and your time at Price will be just as great as mine!
Master of Public Policy c/o 2018