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Elizabeth O’Malley (MPA ’17)

Elizabeth O’Malley

Prior degree received:
B.A., California State University, Fullerton

Most recent position:
Assistant Director of Individual Giving, Sundance Institute

UC Berkeley is contributing to change
“UC Berkeley has always been an institution that I have held in high regard for its history of encouraging bold thinking, embracing diverse perspectives, and challenging norms with social innovation. The Goldman School's stellar reputation for teaching critical thought, analysis and management in the public sector was exactly what I was looking for in a graduate education.”

When I knew it was time to pursue my Master of Public Affairs
“I thoroughly enjoyed my work within the field of fundraising for arts non-profits, but I felt that I could do more and make a deeper impact. I came to realize that I did not only want to fund the strategic plans of an organization, I wanted to create them.

The Master of Public Affairs program at Berkeley teaches both the qualitative and quantitative skills that breed the kind of effective change maker and leader that I desire to be. I know that after my time at GSPP I will have a toolkit of skills and strategies for confronting complex problems in the public sector, the confidence to lead a large team to excellence, the reputation of completing a degree program at this elite institution, and a network of incredible alumni to engage with. I know all of these factors will be great benefits to me as I pursue my career in the future.”

Learning in a risk-positive setting
“A highlight is having the opportunity through the program to take the time to singularly focus on my personal growth. In the workforce it is hard to find time to expand your knowledge and collaborate with others in a risk-positive setting. This program in just a short time has broadened my worldview and I know at the end of this year I will graduate with the elevated professional skills needed to advance, but more importantly with a stronger sense of self.

The instructors at GSPP are incredibly impressive, with vast experience of leadership in the public sector. Their instruction is not just centered on theory and academia, it is based on practice and observations in the field. The instructors are also so passionate about teaching and about this program. They encourage open debate and sharing in class, knowing that our experiences in the field are equally valuable to the conversation.”

We learn from each other
“I like that my cohort is incredibly diverse! I often find myself learning just as much from discussions after class with my cohort as I do from class itself. Each person comes with great experiences and passions for public service in such varied ways, from juvenile justice to clean energy. The international aspect of our class also adds to the dynamic diversity of our cohort, learning not only about American policy, but Singaporean, Indian, Israeli, and Mexican cultures too!”

“Everyone in the cohort is so friendly and supportive! When you are in an intensive program like this one, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the workload, but our cohort has carried each other through by constantly motivating one another to be our best. There is definitely a strong feeling of camaraderie and friendship building, with planned trips to Bay Area activities on the weekends and gatherings after class. I know I will leave this program with lifelong friends and international professional network.”

Last updated on 09/26/2018