What were you doing before you joined the MPA programme at LSE?
I worked wild hours in the City of London as a corporate lawyer.
Why did you choose to join the LSE’s MPA programme?
I wanted to complete a master’s programme that was more than just a CV-boosting career break. My goals were to strengthen my quantitative analysis skills, be exposed to a wide range of career options, and build a professional network of friends and academic heroes. So I made a spreadsheet of the top MPA/MBA programmes in the US, UK and Europe and it was clear to me that LSE was the best of the bunch. Further, I have a keen appreciation for the romance of the School’s founding narrative, mission and place in history. LSE is not a bland business school, but a mighty institution that was founded to improve the world that we live in, to engage with real issues and problems. You feel that energy every day walking down Houghton Street.
How has the LSE MPA programme influenced your career?
Innumerable ways. I had never really considered a career in development before the MPA, but doing a summer internship at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and then a capstone project with the World Bank during my second year created opportunities that I would never have had access to as a solicitor. I was recruited to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation a short time after graduation and since then have relied heavily on the skills and friendships that I gained during the programme.
What one piece of advice would you give to a future MPA student?
Make the most of the two years you have on the world’s most dynamic and intellectually challenging piece of urban real estate! Go to the regular lectures on campus given by world leaders and question them directly. Spend time learning from your world class faculty, write for journals, present at conferences, partner with your professors on pieces of research. Explore London. You’ll emerge a sharper, more interesting version of yourself.