What Can You Do With An MPP? – by Rachel Huguet, MPP ’17
One semester into my Master of Public Policy at USC and I’ve become accustomed to the question: “But what are you going to do with an MPP?” The confusion is understandable – unlike someone studying engineering or physical therapy, I’m not going to be a public policy.
Personally, I chose MPP because I am interested in using the quantitative skills gained through my courses in statistics and economics to evaluate new, innovative solutions to social problems. I’ll most likely find myself working at a nonprofit or foundation, helping them strategically invest their limited resources. I plan to get a certificate from the highly ranked Marshall School of Business, at no extra cost to me, to further round out my resume.
However, I chose the program at USC in part because of the huge amount of flexibility it offers. Over the last few months I’ve come across graduates who work as policy analysts at the Rand Corporation, consultants at Bain &Co., CSR experts at Walt Disney, directors at X Prize, Fellows at The Clinton Foundation, and almost every level of federal and state government.
This diversity of interests is further reflected in my cohort where students’ experiences range from being a farmhand in east Texas to a White House intern in Washington, DC. The school offers 15 recommended policy specializations with the opportunity to create your own if you can’t find a good match and the ability to take courses from any graduate program on campus. Some days the possibilities feel endless.
The decision to leave the workforce for two years and return to school was not an easy one. However, the robust programs offered by the office of careers services at Sol Price has helped to put my mind at ease. I was aware of the Trojan Network’s strong reputation when I chose USC. Since starting school in the fall I’ve learned that is fed by multiple mentorship opportunities, career development boot camps, “success teams,” externships, and internships. Much more than just providing a job board, the team at Price is invested in preparing students for a proactive and successful job search.
I find myself consistently, and pleasantly, surprised by the willingness of alumni across vocations to discuss their experiences transitioning from graduate student to full-time employee. It is comforting to know that an MPP from USC is highly valued in a variety of fields and I am confident that come May 2017 I will have many options of what to do with this degree.
Rachel Huguet, MPP ’17