Same Places, New Faces

Today we have an entry from guest blogger Alex Luboff, MPA ’13.  Alex is from Wheaton, Illinois and is studying Public Finance and Policy Analysis.

I had gone to IU for my undergrad, and was a SPEA minor, but after a year away from Bloomington, I wanted to see what SPEA was going to say on its Spring Experience Day. In the past, I had seen all the sights, given campus tours, and even recruited for this university, but I needed that final confirmation that I shouldn’t head to another Public Affairs program.

Experience Day began early, but the excitement woke me up and kept me going. Hearing the passion in the voices of both students and staff was enlightening—SPEA wasn’t just a funny-looking building with a funny-sounding name—it was an immersion in the art and science of passionate service, seen through the dedicated professionals that make up the school from top-to-bottom.

Before hearing from several of the leaders of SPEA’s support services and program offices, the basics—how good SPEA is—was familiar to me. But after hearing from these staff members, as well as hearing from some top student leaders, it became evident how SPEA is great. The benefits of going to a big program at a big school, even for the many classmates of mine that went to small schools prior, were amplified by the tight-knit community that the SPEA Master’s programs clearly are.

As a historically quick judge of character, I wasn’t nervous or doubtful of what my SPEA experience would be like during those morning information sessions—I was reassured that the rankings, the word of mouth, and the reputation that SPEA is known for was not only well-deserved, but that it had been truly earned. Looking back on Experience Day, from the formal sessions to the times relaxing and talking with current students (some of whom are now great friends of mine), it was really that day that I saw how enjoyable it would be to be a “Speon”.

That day last spring, I began to see the SPEA experience that I now see on a daily (yes, even those weekend study sessions) basis—confident, capable individuals dedicating themselves to the causes of their lifetimes. At Experience Day, I met MSES students that wanted to make sure that water-borne illnesses never took another life needlessly. I sat with Nonprofit Management students with visions of a more equitable future for every population. I talked to Public Management students possessed belief in an efficient, effective government at every level. This is where the next generation’s problem solvers seems to congregate, and I have been thrilled ever since Experience Day to be a part of this program!

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