Chelsea is a London-based consultant, working primarily with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
I spent my first few years in the working world getting a crash course in electoral politics. I worked for an environmental non-profit that lobbied the US government for better environmental policies and supported ‘green’ candidates to help elect more environmental champions. The experience was eye-opening about how the mechanics of politics and policy advocacy really work, but I knew I wanted to return to school to dig even deeper.
I also wanted to pivot towards issues related to global development – I knew a graduate degree would facilitate not only moving into that policy area, but also figuring out which issues I wanted to focus on and from which sectoral perspective I wanted to work. I would never have imagined the extent to which doing a Master of Public Administration at LSE would enable that discovery process. I entered the programme with a murky sense that I was interested in development policy, and came out the other side with a far more granular understanding of how the sector works. I now know that I enjoy working from the philanthropic funder perspective, and I have gained a keen interest in how to best design financing for impact.
Being in the LSE MPA also meant I could apply for, and ultimately do, my dream graduate summer internship as a global policy and advocacy intern for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in London. That summer I dug into the weeds of EU development and global health policy, finding along the way that I could apply my own learnings from my time at LSE quite directly. This opportunity led me to ultimately set up my own consulting business after graduation so I could continue my work on EU policy research, analysis, and advocacy with the Gates Foundation. I would never have dreamed of doing such a thing before LSE, but I have since gained the skills, contacts, knowledge, and confidence that I needed to do it. It means I'm also able to work with other clients – some who I met through some of my LSE involvements – on interesting and diverse projects.
Given the role the School of Public Policy community played in making the programme so valuable to me, I'm happy to be able to stay connected with the LSE School of Public Policy community of current students and fellow alumni. I hope to keep learning and growing from them well beyond having finished the programme!
Chelsea is happy to connect via LinkedIn.