Admitted students chat about the admission process with current students and each other.
This is a super exciting time for you. So I'm a second year MPP student and I'm also a dual degree with the school's information concentrating on data science. I'm a jury from California. However, prior to moving to an over-I lived in DC in New York City.
I actually came in to or thinking I was gonna get a dual degree in higher education policy because that's my prominent background, however, Ford has taken me in different directions so I'm mostly interested in social impact in collective impact models and diversity and tech, and Pinot of, If we NSI work with poverty, solution. So if you have any questions about that. And I'm also a manager for a Project GENIE Professor Hampshire.
Yeah, that's it.
Next, we'll have Mike everyone. I'm a K, I am a first year MPP student I'm also from Ann Arbor originally, but I went to Emory in undergrad, so I spent about six years in Atlanta working or two years after undergrad working in Atlanta.
My main policy interests are integration and education policy, so generally social policy but within that immigration and education.
Yeah, I'm also like I said I'm premotor. So I have some experience with housing and living here, also when applying for institution. For those of you who live in An Arbor, and then went away maybe for undergrad to work for up to six to 10 years, you can still definitely apply for institution is... I'm happy to answer questions about that. And yeah, there's lots of fun stuff to do here congratulations.
I also, I'm involved on some club that on campus that I can talk about, namely SAC, which is Student Government and students of color and public policy, and I do some volunteering in a few organizations in the in Arbor area as well.
Thank you, I'm a net Nick.
Alright, hi, my name is Nick nature. I'm a second year Master Public Policy student from the Detroit suburbs and worked a few jobs before Ford in local government and in the education system in Detroit and a lot of my work here at Ford has focused on the skilled trades and really trying to understand the state of Michigan's Workforce Development System and ways to better plug people into construction careers if that's a good fit for them.
Thank you and least last would not least Victor ie everyone competitions or being admitted to the default best public for Policy School in the word inmate so... So you have been told I'm a first year student come from Kenya, and before I came here, I was interesting public, I was working in public affairs research. That is what moved it, and the policy direction.
I am here because I want to serve African people. So international policy is my interest and I'm current in stinging my quantitative Alison scale that they're looking forward to engaging you guys text.
So, at ministries the way the panels work is we have a few questions that we'll ask the panel is first to the three of them will answer each question. And then around 4-30, we will allow you all to ask questions and I'll provide more detailed on How you all can ask questions at the 430 marker but our first question is it Danny Jessica and mid will answer and the question is, why did you decide to come to the fore school as University of Michigan? What stood about out, about the program for you this time? Would you like to list at a certain or... Or should we just jump right in?
Alright, you can do right in... Okay, cool, I can start. So my short answer is, Because I didn't apply anywhere.
No, I went there for undergrad, so the campus was where I felt comfortable and it just so happened to be like a top 10, maybe top five program, depending on which I just tell people to five.
But just as a stands, I think the Ford School has an ideal blend of what's really important in policy work. I'm not gonna mention any specific other schools, but I think some other programs, they have like... Oh yeah, we're really focused on leadership and where that's not really why I came here, I came here to improve on my writing, my quantitative and my practical opportunities. I think the Ford School has all of those.
Another just general attributes and some things that you already may know but we have two offices, Student Services, as well as JCs graduate career services. Their sole purpose is to support students, so on top of the course work and the practical opportunities I would say there's definitely the support system I think some unique things that we've learned along the way, at least I speak for myself, as a double Wolverine coming back in my Masters. All of our other graduate programs are literal... Like top 10, we have a top-on law school, our school social worker public call information engineering if you want to, but also other programs with the RAO anthropology or statistics, I know students taking those courts work, of course, we can... Those departments as well. So the fact that I...
It's not only encouraged, but you do have to take classes outside of the four school but students are really excited. Number one, number two, those courses are gonna be really, really awesome and expand our tool kit. Another just kind of bonus along the way that's unique about the... For program is, if you're doing an MVP, you can take an undergrad language class for free at no charge. I'm doing that. I know at least one other student doing that. If you have any questions about that, definitely reach out to me.
I can't talk next to... So again, I grew up here in Ann Arbor, so I've been aware of University of Michigan and the Ford school for most of my life has been a devout Michigan basketball fan, as a lot of my friends will tell you for all of my life. And so for me, it did make a lot of sense to come here, but I did also look at other programs, namely University of Chicago and Duke.
Part of my decision was, honestly, financial, the in-state tuition and the fellowship that I was offered here were a huge help as opposed to going even more into debt for a graduate degree as I would have, had I gone to the other program. So definitely encourage people to think about that and I'm sure there will be questions and comments on how to navigate that process as well, but in addition, I think to echo some of the things that Danny said I was looking for a well-rounded public policy education. Some schools' policy schools tend to be kind of specifically focused on... Oh, we're a quantitatively focused school where A we're really focused on writing, we're focused on leadership and I liked that Ford had early holistic approach to it, to policy into a policy education where not only do you have to have a background in quantitative skills and you need to take that core but also our writing center is really excellent. The writing instructors are great. You learn how to write a memo and polished up those kinds of skills.
And so just having a more holistic approach to public policy. And then the other sort of thing that I will add is I went to a small liberal arts school in Western Michigan for my undergrad and all of the GDS programs that I looked at were significantly larger, but I was excited to be in again, I bigot fan. So being in that big Michigan football atmosphere was appealing to me, honestly, and being somewhere where there was a lot of engagement, both within the in Arbor community and also with the of larger Southeast Michigan Community in Detroit. And he like was really important to me, and so I think I have a little bit of a different experience. I actually, before school, I did a program called PIA in 2014, so I felt like I had a family. I did know, I definitely had a family year I was close to a lot of student service of... And professors so when deciding, I actually was choosing between Ford School and Goldman, but because I knew I had that connection, I overall chose for a huge thing. Also money. So the cost of living in Ann Arbor is definitely way more affordable compared to the other schools. I was way in that a lot of my friends had gone through board and gotten their TPS and being able to speak with them about their experience and how they were happy with the degree and queer services.
That gave me hope to A... But also, I know it's, it's really difficult now I think that it's hard to talk to other admitted students but I will say going to admit to day and being able to get the vibe of my potential cohort definitely help. I met my best and Roma admitted. So, I urge you guys to try and talk across. I know it's a little bit but dispute time, but I think it definitely plays a huge role in making a decision 'cause overall, they're gonna be the people you're working on your problem sets with... Thank you, Jessica, Our Nam question is, "Which course have you enjoyed most so far, what course are you most excited to take in the future? And I would love for Mike and Carolina to answer that for us.
Cool, I'll just start. So I am currently in a class with Earle is actually with Nick, who's also on the panel on the history of reparations. And it's like the pilot class, I guess, they called it, but it's absolutely amazing. I think as future policy makers, it's really important to get historical perspectives. And he's a history professor, and it's like a walking text book, he's the Director of Center for Social solutions his CB goes on. But even beyond that, the content and the course that He's created really AND gates, as well as who's the moderator? We're all in that cost a it's absolutely amazing and the historical perspective is one that I think sometimes can get lost in the Quant focus of a policy degree. So I think that that is definitely my favorite class I've taken thus far. And then looking to the fall, there is a voter engagement class specifically for the 2020 election, that I'm really excited to take it's basically a project-based course where students create their own "PSA campaign" to inspire voter registration and turnout for the 2020 election, and then analyzing the effectiveness of the messaging. So I think it's a really unique time and unique course to take, so I'm excited about that. And that's something that's really cool is that not only are all the faculty, amazing and doing cutting at research in their field, the curriculum that they create is really holistic, and brings in a bunch of different perspectives, which I think is awesome.
So two classes stand out in terms of things I've already taken. So first is economics, which is a requirement for all incoming first years unless you wave out of it. And I came in to Ford being super terrified of quant wanting to learn more and also being like, this is horrifying, Professor adjusting golfers teaches it, it's a class of 90 people. There's a real sense of solidarity as you're all learning.
I was totally not prepared for how much I enjoyed that class and actually, I felt like it really deep in my understanding of a lot of policy issues that I care about, I feel like I have a better economic grounding in a lot of classes, I feel like I can engage in policy issues in a different way. So that was a pleasant surprise. If you're afraid of quant. So as I... It's gonna be okay.
Another standout class was poverty in in a quality policy, which was a real deep dive on social welfare systems in the US, emerging and cross-cutting policy issues in poverty alleviation. And it allows you to dig into a deep topics. I run a wording about rental housing affordability and using that then was able to get me a research assistant opportunity at Poverty Solutions, so it was a really nice entry way to kind of dig deeper into topics that I was already really interested in another class that's been on my radar that I make, either future is public finance and budgeting. I feel like it's a really concrete skill that I don't possess and would love to learn and I think it's kind of exemplifies at Ford. It has a lot of classes that allowed to do deep dives, but also a lot of generalist classes that are really practical skills-based things that you would be using in an internship or in a job after you graduate.
Thank you, our next question is For Nikon and my second year students. Could you please share a little bit more about your internship experience?
Sure, so I interned with the City of Detroit housing department, so two and a half months. I was very lucky that I met I was actually taking a class through the top-mid School of Urban Planning and the professor had put on a panel, one of the speakers was a woman who worked in the Housing Department and after meeting her, he basically was the connector to this internship. My work there was a mix of policy research on opportunity zones, which was a piece of the 2017 federal tax cuts and kind of trying to see how that might impact development projects in Detroit and then it was a lot of stuff on home repair grant, so I, in property tax issues, but really the main takeaway was that it was amazing to... I was given the power to attend a lot of meetings, that weren't relevant to my specific work and I think really my personal opinion, that's what you really should be looking for. An internship is like how can you put yourself in a position where a team is willing to take you in, and say, You're here for this journey for however long you're here, and just soak up as much as you can and what it's really like on the ground to work with federal housing funding, which is I think it's very eye-opening to see that when we talk about federal programs binders and binders and binders of paperwork comes with that. So it was a lesson and being intentional about saying, How do we change laws, to get better outcomes for issues like affordable housing?
Thanks for that neck. So to talk about my internship experience, so like I said, my primary area of interest, is environmental policy, and I knew going into the internship search, that I wanted to... A couple of things I wanted to intern with a big green organization. So your CR club national-wide Life Federation something like that. And I wanted to be in DC doing kind of direct policy work and so I ended up working with the National Audubon Society. So that's not the German highway system, it's the John James Audubon, who was a naturalist, and burden for all his life. He makes these really beautiful printers. But basically, the National Audubon Society is, about protecting birds and the people that care about them, in their habitat. I'm not a "Verger I'm not particularly jazzed about pigeons or sparrows, so I did see a great blue hair and the other day and not, it was really excited but my interest was more just seeing how one of these bigger non-profit sort of navigates... The policy.
I definitely get to do that as the dance society is doing a lot of work or has been doing a lot of work looking at climate change, and how climate change impacts birds in Bitburg, migration, they just released a big report talking about called Climate 20, which is a follow-up of a report from a couple prior talking about the impact on birds of climate change.
And so I was working with the team that was developing that report.
I did a lot of search and to fill that out, I worked a lot with their science policy team or their science team, to translate what of the data and the findings were from these actual scientific studies of geo-mapping. bird migration ranges into, Okay, how do we make this into both graphics and writing?
That makes sense for people who are not scientists, and are not, are not... Are not orders.
And so I did a lot of work on that. I also did some work with the strategic planning and campaigns teams on a couple of their more local initiatives in South Carolina in the past year just past all. Basically, that's requiring that the state develop its solar energy portfolio. And so I did a lot of research and background on that.
It was definitely one of those internships where I kind of went into it and initially, the organization didn't quite know what to do with me 'cause most of the interns that I was initially working with were undergraduates and so... And I feel like that's an experience that a lot of our students, unfortunately, have. But I was able to, in the first week that I was there talk with my boss and just be like, "Look what I have the ability to do this, this, this and this, put me to work, do things or I will find something of my own to do. And so it ended up being a little bit of my boss kind of being like, "Okay let's put you on a couple of these projects. And me being like, Okay, where can I be the most helpful? And being able to really talk to heads of departments across the organization, both in DC and elsewhere, to see where I could help and contribute to the work that they were doing, and I feel like that is a somewhat typical experience of a lot of our students. Sometimes you go in and they have this project that's just for you and it's great and sometimes you go in and it's like I have to figure out where I'm gonna be the most helpful and how I can make the most of this experience.
So that was my in internship tents in Q, Emma. The next question is gonna be for Carolina Jessica. And big turn.
Was there anything that supposed to or that you weren't inspecting? What has been the biggest challenge for you so far?
I can take the first one I... So I think the most surprising thing is the fact that I came in with an idea of I worked five years in higher ed research and policy. I was like, "I'm gonna go forward, I'm gonna get a good degree in higher ed. That's not quite what happened. And I think that speaks volumes to the Optus at the University of Michigan has as a whole, like I mentioned before I ended up getting a dual degree in data science, even though I had focused only in domestic policy I had, I was lucky and ask to receive funding to complete an internship in Paris with the OECD and then the research opportunity. I was actually in Israel working with Poverty Solutions, collecting data there so it's kind of been able to shift a lot of my interests also working on a project diversifying tech, so I think that I had some vision. And there's so many opportunities that you don't even know that are out there, and for does a great job of supporting you and trying new things. And I think that's probably my favorite thing about Fort and I guess the most challenging thing going on top of that and need is that there's always stuff going on. So I don't know about you guys, but I always struggle with, "Oh my god, there's... It's really cool XOR. There's this cool talk and you just kind of have to figure out your priorities, because there's so much going on, it's kind of hard. To be back and be like, Okay, maybe I should just focus on school work, so yeah, it can also be a show cold, but a good struggle to have.
I think things that surprised me. So one is more academic and one is more life in Ann Arbor. So I came in and I think I'm still in this place, of really mind focus on domestic policy and I was surprised, especially in the last year just how much Ford has a dedicating resources to international policy, in a way, that I think is really great and has been really has really enhanced a lot of my experience here and why I didn't expect... So this fall, the wiser diplomacy center launched and with it was like, a slew of fancy people who appeared on campus. So, get opportunities to hear from every Clinton and Condoleezza Rice and Susan power and these real heavy weights in foreign policy, and as someone who's not primarily interested in foreign policy, I still found it really, really valuable and a nice complement to a lot of the domestic focus work. So I feel like a common question that a lot of incoming students have. What's that balance of domestic international? And my perspective has been that there's more opportunities to engage in international work night expected in terms of life and an arbor.
So I came here from DC, and I was like, "I'm ready to pay. Nothing in rent. Midwest is gonna be so affordable and I think the cost of living in an arbor, was higher than I expected.
Totally still manageable, but I think I went in with misguided expectations about cost of living being that an arbor is like a big college town.
I also came without a car and has been an interesting experience trying to navigate public transportation here. So there are some quality of life, things that I think are just important to think about having grown up in Vermont, in Burlington is another college town.
I feel like those two cities by be on. And so I kind of had an expectation in my head of what the day-to-day would be living and getting around an armor. But I will say, coming from a bigger city that has really wider public transit, that was an adjustment that's taken me some time is a little bit challenging, and just of getting my bearings in terms of the transition, right?
So for me it's academically... The first as the thing that surprised most is that I have banknotes. When I came here, I probably was excepted. Oh, I'm going to a public policy analyst. But then, I mean is just so much to choose from. And I took these cases that were not my priority classes. So a 5-10 international PlayStation, and I realize, "Oh this is what I should have been saying all along, in my application, but I want to be an international policy specialist and taking those classes. The simulations your simulation recognition Security Council acting on all those multilateral institutions.
The best thing that ever happened to me was just stay up and minded and daring into these classes and realizing you run you to your passion, something that you are previous not passionate about, you just... That's just how wide... And they offer... So, yeah, and the other thing is we got to the challenges despite all the preparations I made on my way here, from Kanya I excepting, about six months to settle down so just now, the sinister and my coming down and getting back to who I've always been in my life. So you, I trouble what they call here. It was the single of the most... I don't know about other people, but that's something that some of you been probably probe it a... And don't be scared if I can say that, but everything else is just like to be by fully surprising you, he thanks, thank you guys. If I could have Amica speak more to extracurriculars. The question is it extracurricular clubs, DEI initiatives are you evolved in and how have those contributed to your experience?
Yeah, so when I first came to force, I was used in undergrad to being involved in a bunch of things and I kind of wanted to get it in through my classes before I... So really far in... So, first mister, I got involved in SAC, which is Student Government as social chair with adult issues the other socio-and I first joined, and that was basically around just community, building involving Ford-wide social events. So we went to an apple orchard we have bar nights, we have board game nights. There's a variety of things that we do to try and make sure that we're still hanging out with everyone outside of classes.
So that was really fun. And then I think, second semester once I sort of got my feet wet and kind of understood what my core so was I got involved in some other organizations, so one, I just recently took on a position as the communications chair for students of calling police.
They do a lot of events they bring in speakers, they have town halls, they have socials and then outside of the Ford School and doing a mentorship program through the trip-based non-profit called fate, they partner with the jail, and Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit, and it's like once a week you go in. And each cohort of 9, 10, 11, 12th grades have capstone projects that they work on, of marketing and data analytics and campaign and fund, raising which has been really cool just to have some time outside of the Ford School, getting involved in giving back to the community. And then I'm also a volunteer fundraiser for a local nonprofit called garbage which is basically a mental health resource for young adults who have just recently been discharged from the hospital.
So it's been really honestly enriching out only to get further involved in The... For community and interact with people that maybe I wouldn't have interacted with otherwise either second years or dual degrees or people that I don't run into in some of the core classes has been awesome, but then also getting involved in the "narbonne Troy area also, I think just enriches the experience that much more. And you spend a lot of time in the Ford School, the same people, same classes, so you can kind of get into this routine of seeing the same people. And it's kind of fun to break out of that and explore more of Ann Arbor in the Detroit area. So yeah, thank you, if I could have any if you could speak to that question, too. And let that meet at students also know about for Monk, which is something I know you're on it, for. And finally, since you've been in Ann Arbor almost a decade, if you could share some bits about life in Ann Arbor, and then people go to nest question, so if you have a question, type it in the chat box.
Sure, thank you so Easter. I would resonate with everyone else's answers. I think it's take that time to settle into an or figure out your time management figure out your academic strategies, as someone who is four years out of post-grad. It definitely took me a while like finding out, "Oh what are my...
What am I gonna do? One of my academic behaviors that I'm going to change or keep the same like... Oh, back in undergrad I didn't do all the readings. Is that gonna change for a grad school?
First half was definitely, just finding who find are, or people are and doing networking. There was plenipotentiary for networking, but more so on a social level for the first semester, especially a... Everyone seemed to not everyone, but some people tend to go into the various affinity groups at the Ford School offers. We talked about the students of color in public policy as well as there's a couple of other groups as well, so the out in public which is the LGBTQ we want to...
I went to a couple of the branches during the first semester.
Yeah, and then the second semester, I actually went on a bunch of excursions and went out of the country went out of the state. So the first experience was the Ford monk experience that as Tom was talking about TEAL a participant as well as a couple of others. I'm a mad as well. So we all go essentially went to Toronto in Canada, and we participated in this case competition and who is topic rotates each year, and the location also rotates so next year, it's going to be hosted at new oven, and an arbor and basically just do this case competition with team mates from the Ford School, as well as the monk school so that's what the monk is. So monk is University of Toronto's school. pubic policy. It's kind of an unfortunate name, because I don't know. Yeah, it's like nuns. What is felt like... And that... Yeah, so I got to go on that trip and it was a lot of fun, and it was kind of networking amongst our cohort, but also across borders. We got to meet a bunch of Canadians as well as other students from other countries.
So after that literally the next weekend, I was able to attend the annual networking trip in Washington DC at the Ford School coordinates and unfortunately, there's all the program that I got accepted to during spring break, got cancelled. There was a non-"foral program. But sometimes it... You can use your string Bak to go on various excursions. I was supposed to go to Japan to basically do a compared to policy analysis excursion in Tokyo and then another city. But yeah, that didn't end up working out, but I still flew to LA and had a great time California, and then came back.
I am getting off topic but... So, to answer the next question of how his life in Ann Arbor, so Carolina mentioned cost of living.
I would say just in general, I'll talk about food as well as things to do as well as access to transportation. So I will say on campus, a lot of places are walkable. If you want to just go to CVS or Walgreens to just pick up something, there's plenty of restaurants. I have not lived in a big Tony able to visit a lot of big cities but being here and along for a long time, our food scene, compared to cities like I don't know, coming back from LA, I think our food-Sen sucks now, but obviously that's just your own relative mindset, but you find your favorites and there's plenty of other students who will take you out and go to a visit, visit places transportation. So I do have a car so I can't really speak on the spine of having a car, but we do have a very vast, completely free bus system, both of the city as well as the University of Michigan. We have two systems and they're both free for students and they both function over the summer as well. And then lastly, what was I gonna mention? I talked about food, just stuff to do during the fall semester. Someone mentioned going to the apple orchards which is a very Michigan Midwest thing to do, but we also have a lot of outdoor spaces is there's this place called arboretum, it's just like a gigantic Park tons of dogs and arborist definitely a dog city with the students just an dogs. What else? Yeah, I feel like a lot of the semesters we... A lot of the time is winter. So if that's sort of an adjustment that you have to make, just be prepared for that. And yeah, I felt like I was a little rambling but thank you, Dan, when you go to questions, the next the first question came from Christa for Maine and unfortunately, Christopher a lot of mpas are working on their end of year projects, and so this week was not the best for the time for them to hop on calls. But if you have any NPA, questions, if you'll just email me, I put my email address in the account, and I'll try to connect you, but maybe made can answer this question since she does where, yes, she may has possibly do her peer advising hours have been able to speak with mpas.
So the question is, any advice for incoming in PAs?
Yeah, so I'm not an MPA. So that's a little bit trickier for me. So me, is for people who are not aware or folks who are mid-career professionals who are here to do a one-year program.
I have talked to a couple in GCs but most folks are kind of in the situation where essentially they are already working some sort of job, and they're taking a year off to do this kind of work or to develop a little bit further and then go back into their career. So I can't speak to a ton of stuff. Particularly, I will say that there is a slightly different curriculum for the MPS, and there are for the MPS, but they're still integrated into a lot of for school things. One of my best friends last year as an MPA who was here for a year and then graduated. So they're really well-integrated into the cohorts which I think is good.
And then also, I will say that because it is a new program, I know that Paul Alan, who is our Dean students is actively taking a lot of feedback from the students on what they liked, what they didn't like, how to improve that kind of thing.
So I, while there is some curriculum differences in the classes that are required, you're still from my understanding, the MPs are still in Statistics and Econ, which are the two sort of main core quant courses, so you will still be integrated with the rest of the students in that way.
And then I think if you have any more specific questions definitely email you them or one of us and we can put you in touch with some folks.
Thank you, the next question comes from Will. And so, He Percy saying with all the things happening around Cove 19 stay-home orders, there may not be a guarantee that some of the social aspects, and community immersion that Danny Empower will exist.
And so, if I could have one or two students share one or two things that we can still look forward to our first semester, even if this remote...
I can talk a little bit about that. So, I think that yes, that's a huge bummer. If that were to remain virtual and then you couldn't have the contact. And maybe the same level of connection of networking and being class and meeting our cohort and going through orientation but I think the Ford School has done a really good job. Just one in communicating with the students, like our dean literally emails us every single day with updates about what our faculties doing what students are like What movies he's watching with his family. So the administration is really communicative. And then on top of that, I think it's almost if things were to go virtual in the fall, this semester a lot of student orgs and offices and schools around campus are getting used to moving everything to virtual. So a lot of the talks that people are really excited about and events, they're finding workarounds to make sure that they're still accessible online. And in terms of social things, like I know a lot of student organizations are just having socials VIM which isn't obviously the same thing, but I think that this semester, everyone's kind of figuring out how to still socialize and build community and through a video conferencing and then also putting on events and making sure that that isn't lost. So I think almost if things were still to be in the fall, it wouldn't obviously would not be as ideal as ever and being together, but I think this semester has been everyone's working that out to make sure that events are still happening. community building, so happening socializing is still going on and they're mis. The administration's listing feedback constantly, so we get a say in what are sometimes what are gating system looks like or... So a lot of things have been going on and it's all very new, but I think that the Ford School in general is just really great about communicating and taking our feedback and adjusting.
Yeah, and I was just gonna toss in there. That if you are in a position where you're working a job that you enjoy or that's fulfilling I'll put in my appreciation for the fact that I had deferred I was going to start fall 2017 and didn't wanna stop working and just pushed it a year. And I think I educationally, benefited from that more on-the-job experience and it's not, I don't think there's any downside. If you're in the right position to put it off a year, given how crazy, everything is now.
Thank you, our next question comes from Sam.
Did any of you choose forward over a more special AS degree program, if so, could you talk about why you did so, how you still have been able to position yourself for a career in that specific field as well as the benefits of having a more generalist degree. In the form of a MPP?
I can answer part of this, at least the generalist part. The first part I cannot talk about in terms of more specialized degree program I guess, I guess I would... I asked Sam back what type of... Can you give us an example of a more specialized degree program? We're talking about MBA or a data sciences, program or one of the policy programs I know Princeton specifically international focus versus I think our program, which you can definitely have a more generalist approach, so as someone who is taking a more generalist approach, I do as a first year, I wouldn't say I feel more confident, but I definitely feel like I'm not less confident of my career prospects. If anything, for the internship search, that's happening, I feel a little bit more flexible and I don't feel as I don't wanna say vision hold, but less restricted in the types of organizations and agencies that I can apply to.
Number two, if you feel like you want to specialize and I know not everyone might may know this, but we have this relatively new five concentrations that we have within the Ford School. I'm probably gonna use one that one is the one that I'm thinking about is the policy, public policy analysis and methods. There is one on international policy, there's one on international economic development policy, there's no on social policy. And then there's... That's another word you can Google it, but yeah, a profit management, yes, the, not of management. One thing to cure me, but... Yeah, duties degree adornment Al grey. Okay, so if you do want to do that, you can stay within Ford and then do concentration otherwise there's also other opportunity to just tack on a dual degree program, which I think regardless if you can't get it all fully funded, it's still more economical because you do it in less time you do it in two years rather than three years, for example. So in terms of having a more generalist degree, I think there are definitely benefits. So for me, I've been able to take classes with in Ross but also within school information within the school of the Kel. And yeah, because I feel like I have that freedom to do so. Yeah, and I'll kit back to an adult. Jay yeah Sam, I think that's a can. Can you hear me?
Yeah I, so I think that's a really great question. I actually looked specifically at Mims and also SAS when doing my program, I actually applied for all three of the programs that I applied for for... I'm sorry, not all Chicago I just applied for the M and then at U of M And Duke, I applied for a dual degree with an MPP and as and eventually decided when I was applying and accepting to drop the Masters of Science degree from both of them in part, because it was more economical, to do so 'cause I was looking at paying, for school for two years as opposed to three, but also that was basically what I ended up coming to the conclusion after talking to a couple of different students who some of them were dual degrees, some of whom weren't, who had been in both or either programs that at the different schools was basically just that I could get what I wanted to get out of an MP even as a general degree without having to add on another degree, or look to something else.
So my approach to my curriculum because for gives you a lot of freedom beyond the core of what you wanna take, was to aggressively take skills-based classes. So I've taken almost no subject subject-based courses, if that makes sense.
In my time at Ford, they've all been things like, I took a, I took to GIS classes at the exes which is our school for environment and sustainability.
I took a class on negotiations, I took Excel classes. 'cause I needed to brush up on that and I know several other people who have taken advanced place on and other coding languages and so for me it was less about whether or not I had a bunch of things that said, "Oh environmentalists or environmental that and more do I have the skills to be able to engage in environmental policy work at the level that I would like to...
I don't want to be a statistician I don't wanna be a data scientist. And so, pursuing sort of that kind of degree wasn't appealing to me, but through both my coursework and also my internship experiences and others, I've been able to build up a resume that says I am interested in environmental policy without having a lot of courses that say I am taking an Environmental Policy course specific, but a course in environmental policy for instance, and I think for gives you the opportunity to do that three of my four semesters I took two of my four semesters I took a majority of classes outside of the Ford School. And I highly encourage people to look at the sort of course offerings that are in those other schools, that you could want, to take?
Because people said This is a very good university, for a lot of different things, and so I've been able to benefit from having the School for Environment and Sustainability, just down the road and to take those slightly more specialized courses.
Well, also having a general education at forward.
Thank you, and also make sure you utilize a slack if you want. The other side of that, if you wanna get the perspective of people who chose to do the dual degree there's pros and cons to both. The next question comes from Eleanor how connected do you feel to your professors? Do you have to work very hard to get them to know you or have them know who you are or get to know them? Sorry guys, I can take that, yeah. How connected do you feel to your professors? I would say our professors are very supportive, like they are here to make sure you understand the concept and they will push you so how to they will support you in the process. They are so competent in their fields and they are accomplished. They have the exposure, so most of the professors, we talk me last NESTA once decimate.
It's not until you see back at the end of the day and you're like, Wow, so things in... Can you really really appreciate how Ativan they have, what you call, you may already know this, office hours, so you can always reach out to demand. I have done a couple of get-to-know-you profess a Gatineau student of these hours with, most of them. So that beyond the "adami moments they get to know me, and I did to know then where am I coming from, what are my challenges? They explain to me why I have been great in in a particular way. So lots of things it's bold, personal and pass on professional and academic class so that's part of the best thing. And the four school, I would say.
Thank you, Victor. Our next question comes from Hannah. Could you share how big the typical MPP classes are in terms of the number of students?
So, I Asante MVP class. I think our cohort is like 95 to 00 in a couple of classes are on the larger side, so Economics and Statistics which are required to take as a first year, unless you leave out, there's gonna be larger. So Econ, I think was like almost all of us kind of in the same boat. Stats was split into two sections. So there are about 40-45 people. I would say most classes so that I've experienced out I have those requirements have been the 25-person range, a couple or much smaller are almost like workshop style, so you can choose to take an Intro to policy writing class, which I super recommend and those are really small, it's like five to six people every week. Your work-shopping memos work-shopping office.
It was a really good way to get to know other people in the class, but also to get a relationship going with people in the Writing Center.
And I would say for the courses that are a little bit bigger in the 20 to 25 person range, a lot of those are a good balance of lecture and student discussion. So I feel like I really got to know people in start. This question too, about getting to... Or professors. If those were opportunities to connect more with Professor than with other classmates just by the nature of the class being smaller.
So my experience seen Habana large classes are small, enough that you'll get a more closer relationship with classmates and then economics, and staffs are the exception to that where you're just kind of falling one, in one class.
The benefit of that being everybody's working on the same problem set the same assignments, in the same material. So if you wander into the computer lab panicking one day 800 PM, you'll find 10. other people also panicking, and so there's a good sense of community that comes from working together on those.
Just one thing, the professors because of the small innate of the classes, the professors will go to noise, so that during your intention applications, they will be so willing to write you recommendations. And I show even when it comes to the time is looking for a job, they will have a good sense of who you are and write you a per-implementation. Those... Thank you guys for sharing. The next question comes from Bethany. And the question is, as they prepare for the Fort school, do you have any advice on how to use this summer to prepare for what's gonna put happen in the fall? I can speak to that a little bit. So one of my biggest fears and coming to grad school was the quant core at Ford. I had a background in Political Science was not an old pub Sed had not taken a Math class since high school. And so coming into the prospect of... You guys don't have to take calculus I'm just gonna reiterate that you do not have to take Calculus. But coming in that was part of my requirements, so coming in having to take Calculus and also statistics. My first year was really daunting, and I obviously studied math for the GRE... But also have a friend who teaches high school calculus in salt and how he borrowed the textbook that HOSES for her class and started looking through it.
I don't know that I particularly got very far with it, but just like remembering things like pandas and foil and things that you should have learned in high school, but probably forgotten by now was really useful and used a little bit of that anxiety going in. So, I definitely recommend, if you maybe haven't taken a stats class, taking a look and sort of re-remembering, of how that works and what I mean is, and things like that, it's not a bad idea. And also kind of thinking about the other thing that I found challenging was just getting back into the mindset of studying and understanding that my day did not end at 50 PM anymore. And so I talked to a lot of friends who had started grad school were starting grad school just to get a sense of their experience and also just worked on thinking about how do I want to schedule my life, what do I wanna prioritize what's gonna be important for me to stay healthy, and sane when things got crazy? And so, sorry, that's kind of weird. General advice, but that's what worked for me.
I have a specific framework, this is an exercise that I did with my fellow students in the past, so I make this basically take a blank shot of paper and they divide it into quarters, right?
So, I divide them into must bonus tolerate and deal breaker. You could use this for anything. Honestly, you could use this for, I don't know, finding a new apartment for finding a significant other, whatever, but you can put it in the framework of your semester. So what am I not negotiable" is one of my most things. So for me I was like, "Okay I must pass on my classes, just like baseline. It must figure out time to work out.
So the times we don't know what it is, so I would just go through each of those categories and make sure to write it down. I don't know about you all, but I'm someone who likes to post things like right on my desk in front of a top of where it works. So I think that is a strategy that has worked for me. It's a small... Quick tip, thank you. And our final question comes on for could you please speak to your experience with funding provided by you? Going back to the deferment thing that was definitely part of my reasoning was, it gave me another year to find applications and interview for things to get this paid for and I guess unsolicited advice would be, treat looking for funding, as a job like you scour Fords website and rates, website and CE and financial aid, and just know that it's a huge campus with a ton of money flowing through it and it is worth the effort to really do your homework and leave no stone unturned to find how can I walk out of here with a master's degree, my pocket with as close to zero of dad as I can get 'cause you of them is unique and that is attainable for a lot of people.
Also, I just wanna one victim to...
I was just going to say You should come with what you have. I came with what I had from back is not much, but as this I've gone by, I have continued to pounding, and they open up a year. The Hemant... So I don't give up on this opportunity or dentists, because you don't... Like you have the funding comedian do the work. Yeah, and for those to happen late and that you may fall into this category. I didn't know about this until admitted students weekend, but I grew up in an arbor, or if you just grow up in the Michigan area, and say You left to work or go to school, you can still apply for in-state tuition, which is huge. What the downside is is they usually don't give you a decision until July, which is not so great, but basically if your guardians still live here and you graduate high school, I think you just have to... It's kind of awkward to ask for your guardians tax returns and their license licenses. But you just explain the situation. And from what I've heard of other people that I've been the same thing, it's worked out pretty well and that's a huge... That was huge, to judge and yeah, and equine whatever. And all said, just even when you get on campus continue to look for funding, funding opportunities are coming up, all the time, even if you get here and you don't have as much funding as you like there's opportunities every single semester obviously being a graduate student instructor GSI, your tuition is waived for the semester that you're teaching those are really competitive, but you get a stipend, and your tuition is paid for. Depending on the amount of work you're doing. But yeah, just keep looking, and even when you get here, continue to look and just quickly to echo Nick and Maz points um, is a massive institution. And so some you can get funding outside of Ford. And given that we're low on time, if anyone has questions about funding, or Maria through race, I'm happy to talk offline about that, too. And wraps the umbrella graduate program under which Ford is housed.
Panelists, thank you so much for taking an hour of your time to pet me. The students and made a student. Same for you, I imagine that many of you are working from home. So thank you for taking a break to join us today. If you have any more questions, please email me and I will get that question to which a "berthelot is targeted or if it's a general question by email addresses in the chat box. Thank you all again and let us know if you need anything, have a great day, thank you your time.