MPP Career at a Think-Tank
How a Pepperdine Master of Public Policy Degree Prepares you for a Career at a Think-Tank.
The thing that attracted me to Pepperdine is when I got out of college as an undergraduate, I knew I wanted to do public policy. As I looked around, I found that a lot of the programs that dealt with public policy were, in my judgment, too narrow. The thing that was so refreshing to me when I found Pepperdine was that they thought of public policy in an expansive way. You get people who are going to end up in the federal government, you get people who are going to end up in a state or local government, and you also get people who end up in the in the nonprofit sector. Public policy is not cabin to politics, it’s not even cabin to government necessarily. I think the most valuable contribution that Pepperdine made for me was the intellectual dexterity. You have a wide enough variety of courses and a wide enough variety of professors that you start learning a number of different ways of thinking. When you work, for instance, like I do at a think-tank and 20 minutes after I have a conversation where I've got some problem regarding energy policy and then I have one that has to do with healthcare comes in next, I think the sort of nimbleness you get from the educational experience at Pepperdine has been incredibly helpful in navigating that. You don't have the time to sort of sit back and reflect on these things since it's sort of a rapid response. Pepperdine is sort of public policy boot camp. You know once you've gotten that at Pepperdine, you have the muscle memory and you can do this stuff in the moment.
When you come to a place like Washington, DC, people sort of know what it means to have gone through the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine. You have to have such a breadth of knowledge to do those things correctly that I don't think you would get from most public policy programs. Pepperdine really prepared me to be in the sorts of positions where I ended up, being on the White House staff in DC working, in the State Capitol in Sacramento, and being senior staff at a think-tank in New York City. You know when people go to places like Washington, DC, or places where public policy really happens it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and having the experience at Pepperdine you felt like you go in there and can hold your own with those folks. You feel conversant with the people who were actually shaping public policy. I am so deeply indebted for the experience that I have and for the life that I've had since I went there. I can't imagine it not having happened and I will forever be in debt to Pepperdine for the education that I received there.
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