There are two particular things about my time at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs that have been a tremendous benefit for me in my work on the Hill. The first is how closely you get to work with researchers who are at the top of their field, so when people are talking about deaths of despair or single-mother parenthood, you can go back to your notes from classes you took from professors who literally wrote the book on those topics.
Another is how relevant the class projects and assignments are to the debates that are going on in policy circles. Within my first month on the job, I remember being in a discussion about the Earned Income Tax Credit and its ability (or lack thereof) to incentivize people into the workforce. I couldn’t help but think, “Whoa, I was just working on a problem set about this exact same question just a few weeks ago!” and felt comfortable with both the theory and the academic literature to be able to substantively contribute to the debate.
The close relationships with professors, administrators and peers, as well as the practical benefit of spending two years working on assignments with direct relevance to my professional responsibilities, are two things I feel exceptionally grateful for as a SPIA alum.
—Patrick Brown MPA ’19
Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee
Photo Credit: Egan Jimenez, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University.