What were you doing before the MPA?
Before the MPA I was working for a political party in Venezuela helping candidates to run campaigns, developing a projects to help microenterprises in slums.
Why did you choose to join the LSE’s MPA?
I always wanted to come to the LSE; it’s a terrific university. It is one of the world’s leading universities and the diversity of students is great. The MPA is a two-year programme, which I think is very important. The first year gives you the theoretical grounding and then in the second-year Capstone project, you can apply what you have learnt directly to real policy issues. The second year also allows you to choose a policy stream. I chose International Development. My economic development classes were taught by faculty from the International Growth Centre, which was great.
How has the LSE MPA influenced your career?
The MPA has been very important for my career. When I left the LSE I went back to Venezuela to work for a political party. The MPA enabled me to see whether any of the work that we were doing was actually worth the effort and whether it was going to have any sort of impact. The LSE is really good at teaching you how to measure your efforts and whether they are going to pay off in the future, which I believe is very important.
When I went back to Venezuela, I helped to set up a think tank. When choosing which topics to review to aid the development of our country, the MPA was crucial. Simply by looking at the MPA curriculum, I could find pretty much everything we needed to evaluate in order to improve the country.
What would be your top tip for an incoming MPA student?
Firstly, don’t feel nervous about being surrounded by so many talented people. Secondly, study with patience and a lot of commitment and aspiration. Thirdly, rely on the members of staff and the people around you for support because that will really help you to make the most of the programme.