Before starting the MPP Program or any of the Price Masters programs, you will get the opportunity to meet with alumni, current students of various programs, and other admitted students. Every person you speak with will give you insight into their experience, their suggestions on classes and what they would do if they were in your shoes.
When I expressed my desire to work full-time and complete the MPP program full-time, many individuals advised against the idea with very valid reasons and explanations on why. However, I stuck with my plan and as each week of Fall Semester passed, friends and coworkers were asking me how I was doing. My honest answer to everyone was simply, “I don’t know.” Reflecting back on the fall semester, I was able to accomplish a lot: school, work, various volunteer positions, and participate in select USC activities. Without the flexibility of classmates, group members, professors, and many more individuals, the completion of Fall Semester would not have been possible. The support system you receive from your cohort and other USC friends is tremendous because they are willing to help you academically, mentally, and socially.
Balance and schedule tetris are also skills you learn to acquire. Although I did not get to be involved on campus as much as I wanted to, I was still able to find activities to participate in. I managed to go to several football games, join the Price intramural basketball team, get paired with a GPAC mentor and Price Alumni Mentor, as well as watch Trevor Noah (twice) with some fellow Price friends.
However, I think the biggest highlight of this semester is the MPP Thanksgiving Dinner several of our cohort members hosted. The atmosphere was very homey and lively; everyone pitched in with food, stories, and traditions. For someone who did not get to spend as much time on-campus or hangout with her cohort members, I still felt very much at home and part of the family.
My schedule remains just as busy with classes, work and a new volunteer position but I hope that my Fall and Spring Semester experiences will help encourage prospective and current students to pursue their passions without having to give up any aspects of their involvements.
Master of Public Policy c/o 2018