Post by Anthony Rodriguez, MPP candidate ’16
I begin my third quarter at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with an invigorating new perspective on the world of International Development. Over the break, 11 of my classmates and I had the incredible opportunity to meet with top international organizations, NGOs, and think tanks in Washington D.C. From Mathematica to the Inter-American Development Bank to the American Red Cross, we were able to discuss the most pressing development issues with the preeminent leaders of the field.
Before arriving at UCLA, I spent two years in the United States Peace Corps serving in a rural village in Eastern Province, Zambia. Nearly every organization we visited had return Peace Corps volunteers on their staff who were able to discuss their transition from “field” work to project design and implementation. This is inherently the most difficult part of international development and it was inspiring to meet so many project managers that had spent significant time in developing countries.
As a first year Public Policy graduate student, this trip allotted me the great opportunity to network with possible employers and UCLA alumni. I’ve since been in contact with many of the professionals we met; all of whom are eager to help me find summer employment. For those students considering attending this trip next year, I highly recommend it as a chance to further your professional aspirations and strengthen your understanding of international development. I am sincerely grateful to Michelle Anderson, Professor Commins, and the rest of the Global Public Affairs team who made this exciting opportunity a reality.