A Princeton SPIA Perspective: Mid-career MPP

Jun 05 2024
Graciela Muñiz Cahuana

Princeton SPIA has been a profoundly important place for me, offering an array of opportunities to develop personally and academically without financial or other concerns.

As an economist and civil servant from Peru, my time at Princeton SPIA has been dedicated to growth, where one can decide how seriously to engage with everything Princeton provides. My experiences have been enriching and varied beyond the classroom, including watercolor sessions, ceramic workshops, high-profile concerts at the McCarter Theater (use your 6 free-tickets, “Passport to the Arts”!), cycling at Dillon Gym (where else are you going to find a free full-packed gym, 15-minute-walk away?), and enjoying healthy meals with the Princeton meal plan (it can be healthy if you ignore the other options!).

At Princeton SPIA, I took significant courses like Comparative Political Economy, Economic Analysis for Development, Values-based Leadership, Crisis Management, and Democracy, Distrust and Leadership. These reading-intensive, motivating classes were led by inspiring professors who have made a lasting academic and personal impact on me.

Above all, Princeton has allowed me to meet extraordinary classmates from around the world, all highly motivated to impact their communities. Outside of the classroom and our time in Princeton, we have shared so many awesome trips together, from our policy trip in Bangkok, Thailand where we discussed gender policies with institutional leaders, to other exciting getaways in places like New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New Orleans, and Asheville. Each journey was a blast, filled with deep chats, professional insights, personal stories, and, most of all, loads of laughs.

These incredible experiences and more with my amazing colleagues have built friendships that I'll carry with me forever. From all these examples and much more, I have been able to understand firsthand why Princeton SPIA highlights its tight-knit community as one of its most important strengths. Now, as an alumni, I'm extremely honored and grateful to be able to call SPIA my school and Princeton my university... for life. See you at reunions!