Author Archives: Derek Robinson← Older posts
There’s nothing quite like the flurry of activity that comes at the height of college application season. You’re probably booked solid with school, extracurriculars, personal life, and on top of that trying to make really big decisions about where you want your education to go from here. It’s a stressful time that comes with a lot of personal growth and introspection.
Now, I am by no means an admission counselor or academic advisor, but I do care about you and your well being throughout this lengthy process. I hope these tips help ease your worries and power you through the application process.You probably know all the basic tips for applications, so this is a slightly different approach. Below is a list of tips that I believe will not only help your application, but will help you feel better about the process overall.
1. Be Yourself – in your essays, you really want to try and find your voice and be true to your own story…..
Posted in Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning, and Development | Tagged advice, applications
I rarely write anything on Facebook, but thought this would be a great way to share my story and vision with as many people as I possibly can. After my time in New York and PTTOW’s most recent event, I realized we all need to give back more than we currently are to the world we live and breath in. To everyone in my generation, us millennials, we are the key to making a better world for our generation, past generations, and future generations. A lot of us are truly blessed and lucky to have the comfortable lives we have, but rarely do we think and consider about how to help others in need.
As we grow and begin to solidify our future not only in the work force but as human beings, we should all find ways in developing a better world as a whole. Everyone is different, not everyone agrees with one another, and that is fine, we are human. But something we all have is a heart. Love. Love is a big word, what does love mean?…
The “Trojan Family”, “Lifelong and Worldwide, and “Fight On!” are just some of the staple phrases any USC Trojan may have heard. With these phrases in mind, I experienced them all when I participated as a featured panelist for the incoming Price undergraduate DTLA Walking Tour.
I recounted my story to the students by sharing my background as a 2014 Bachelor of Science Policy, Planning, and Development (PPD) and Architecture minor graduate. I was candid to say that I didn’t enter USC’s PPD program right away but began as an aspiring architect. I challenged the students to reflect on why they’re in school and if this were the right program….
Posted in Uncategorized |
As the school year is rounding the corner, I want to share my top three takeaways from my first year of grad school. These are applicable to both first-years and second-years, MPAs, MPPs, MNLMs (heck, maybe even undergrads). These takeaways are:
Don’t underestimate the Trojan Network
When you come to Admit Day or Orientation (or not), the administration and student ambassadors stress that the most valuable part of your graduate experience at USC Price is the Trojan Network—and they’re not lying….
Posted in Uncategorized |
Now is the time of year that college decisions are being released and prospective high school seniors are contemplating and debating their choices. Choosing the right college will be a huge struggle in the coming weeks as the May 1st deadline slowly creeps up and up. I would like to just give a perspective on my decision on why I chose USC and the Price School as I applied and debated my decisions.
I was ecstatic when I received my USC acceptance letter electronically. Though USC will send out a paper copy to your mailing address, at the time, I was in transit in Hong Kong on my way to Malaysia. I screamed and cheered in the bustling airport, repeatedly telling my parents that I have been accepted to USC. At the time, I never really figured out why I was so ecstatic. Sure, I supported USC football for the past 10 years but that was it in terms of my involvement and support for USC. It seemed like I had an innate desire, appreciation for USC and after 2 months here at USC, I have already been calling USC “home.” Now, I will be sidetracking if I started talking about all the excitement and opportunities that I have had at USC and instead will leave that story for a post later this week…..
The number of ways to become involved with USC was one of the main reasons why I chose to attend Price as an urban planning graduate student. Attending the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy admit day allowed me to learn about the different student organizations and communities that were open to incoming students. It was there that I learned about the student organization Associated Students of Planning and Development (ASPD), and I knew right away that I wanted to join as a member.
ASPD acts as one of the main urban planning graduate student associations at USC and puts on a number of events throughout the school year….
At the beginning of February, I had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to learn more about health policy for the upcoming year. First of its kind, the USC DC Health Policy Forum was initiated to expand students’ knowledge of health policy making (or lack thereof, given the current political environment) and to appreciate the intricacies—trade groups, academics, congressional committees, executive branch, etc—of passing health reform. While the forum was primarily targeted to EMHAs and alumni, being the one of two current MHA students did not hold me back.
The day and a half seminar was filled with diverse, experienced speakers. Some of the institutions represented were the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Academy of Medicine, Federation of American Hospitals, and the American Medical Association, among others….
Despite what many of my friends from my time as an undergraduate at UCLA have dubbed “crossing over to the dark side,” attending USC for graduate school is one of the best choices I’ve ever made. In just one semester, I’ve met some of the kindest, most amazing people I could imagine, started an internship that has already proven to be incredibly valuable, and completely altered and inspired my perspective on urban planning. Any and all apprehension I once had regarding my decision to come to Price to complete my Master of Planning degree has been entirely replaced by pride in my school and optimism for what is to come……
In between balancing two-part time jobs, getting involved in student organizations, and of course, football season—my first semester of grad school was more than I had bargained for. But nonetheless, the best decision I’ve made at this point in my career.
Prior coming into grad school I was concerned with not only how will I get involved at the Price School, but how can I also participate in the greater USC community. This led me to an opportunity through the Alternative Break (AB) program at the Center for Service Programs (under Campus Activities). This is a unique opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to engage in service learning and volunteerism in communities outside of the Los Angeles area…..
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….