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MPP Career in State Government

How a Pepperdine Master of Public Policy Degree Prepares you for a Career in State Government.

Video transcription:

My name is Lance Christensen. I was born in Provo Utah. I went to Brigham Young University, graduated with a degree in English and love to study the classics. I was interested in public policy not knowing quite exactly what I wanted to do. I pursued law school and eventually decided that I want to do something that would really make a change and an improvement in the world around me and for my future family.

Why did you choose Pepperdine's School of Public Policy?

I spent some time researching a lot of different public policy schools and as a thing that impressed me most about Pepperdine was its location along the Pacific Rim, and it's interaction with so many different issues that were important to me. When I came to Pepperdine, I felt like I came to a place that was serious about education, was serious about public policy, and was serious about principles and teaching students how to lead and grow and change the country for the better.

How did you get started working in state government?

When I was at Pepperdine, I had the opportunity work for a think tank as my internship; it was one of the ways where the School of Public Policy engages its students to experience something different. I ended up working at a think tank years later and spent time traveling from state to state talking about major government reform. And as I went from state to state to state, I realized the things and lessons I learned at Pepperdine that would be effective in each one of those state capitals and state houses, where if legislators had students from Pepperdine there I think they'd be able to work through a lot of their issues more effectively, communicate them in a way that is understandable, and also message their constituents of importance of the wading policy decisions they have to make. I see that in the state capital of California in Sacramento. While I wanted to spend some time in DC, I realized really quickly that I got just as much of a political and a policy career that I wanted out of the state capitol like Sacramento. Anybody who desires to go to DC—great opportunities there I would encourage more students to take an opportunity look what happens to the state and local level, because that's where the major decisions that personally affect you are—you're connected.

What attracts you to working in California's state government?

California is one of the largest economies in the world and California has the opportunity to lead not just the nation but the world and its ideas.

How would you describe the School of Public Policy's relationship with you?

Pepperdine's relationship with me started with a note, thanking me for applying to the School Public Policy. That was the reason I actually accepted in the very end. When I left the School Public Policy, the School Public Policy didn't leave me, they stayed with me. And having me back to come and speak to students now and to work with them through their issues, to mentor them, to take on interns. That sort of relationship is important for anybody who wants to go to a public policy school where they will be engaged for life. I believe that's what Pepperdine does and that's what it has to offer for any student who desires to go here.


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