Leslie Hamilton (MPA Candidate ’18)

Leslie Hamilton

Degree Received:
BA, Vassar College

Most recent position:
Command Language Program Manager/Arabic Linguist, United States Army

Why I Chose Berkeley’s MPA Program
"I want to be able to combine my real-world leadership experience with classroom based theory to become a more knowledgeable and effective advocate for change. One of the things that I admire about the Goldman School is its commitment to turning out competent leaders who are able to balance their passion for improving the world around them with the reality of that world.

I want to learn how to ask the right questions to untangle a thorny issue. I want to learn from people who have chosen to devote their careers to the betterment of others. I want to work alongside other leaders who are ready to take the next step in their careers and are devoted to leaving their communities better than they found them."

The MPA Faculty
"They understand that the students in the MPA program have real-life work experiences and want something different out of a graduate school program than people who come to GSPP earlier in their careers. They provide practical advice and information in the classroom as well as useful, detailed feedback on all assignments. They also make themselves available to students at all times and are responsive to feedback and meeting the individual needs of each student."

An Impactful Experience In Class
"One memorable experience is from the summer PUBAFF 283 - Leading People and Organizations class. We had an ongoing exercise where we formed small consulting groups and walked through a leadership failure that we’d experienced in our work lives as a sort of case study. The group of people that I worked with were so open to sharing their own experiences and struggles.

We talked honestly and openly and asked questions to get to the root of the problems. We talked about what might have been done differently and what external factors were involved in the situation and possible ways to work around those factors.  My group was compassionate and the whole activity left me feeling like my peers will change the world."