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Admissions Blog

Student Profile

Francesca Delgado, MPP '15

Throughout the year, GSPP welcomes prospective students to campus to meet with current MPP students. They are the best on-the-ground resource for questions about electives, housing, and quality of life in the Bay Area. Not everyone can make the visit out to beautiful Berkeley, so we're bringing a current student to you! Prospective students, meet Francesca Delgado.

Year:  First

Policy Area of Concentration:  Social Policy

GSPP Graduation Year: 2015

Undergraduate School: Washington State University

Personal History: Before coming to GSPP, I worked as a probation officer in Seattle, Washington. It was a balance of protecting the community and facilitating the reintegration of offenders into society. It was this experience of providing direct services that motivated me to go to graduate school and work on the issues that can help turn people’s lives around. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering with youth. As a program manager of a high school girls program, I helped create and facilitate monthly workshops on topics such as college prep, self-image, and healthy communication. As an undergraduate student, I majored in Political Science and had internships as a campaign scheduler for a Seattle mayoral campaign and as a legislative aide in Washington, D.C. for U.S. Senator Patty Murray.

What attracted you to GSPP? 

  • Location
  • Range of social policy professorial expertise
  • GSPP support services

With social policy being my area of interest, I wanted a program with professors like Rucker Johnson who teaches poverty and inequality, Jane Mauldon who researches child and family policy, and David Kirp who has written numerous books on education reform. Also, GSPP has an immense amount of support services for students.

How did you prepare for the GSPP application and admissions process? 

  • Read Student Blogs
  • E-mailed professors
  • Spoke with Admissions Staff

I did not take statistics or microeconomics classes in undergrad, so in preparation for applying, I took these classes at a local community college. I made the trip down to GSPP and met with the student ambassador. Everyone I met from professors to students and staff were very friendly and more than willing to speak with me.  

What do you enjoy most during your time at GSPP?
Although I’m only in my second semester at GSPP, my favorite experiences have been social gatherings at GSPP, such as the toast to the beginning of the year and the Fall Feast gathering of students, faculty, and staff. GSPP is a rigorous program, but encourages students to get to know each other beyond class and policy projects.

What do you look forward to doing with your degree upon graduation?
I look forward to working in program evaluation for the effective disbursement of vital social policy programs combating poverty and inequality.

What is your favorite thing about being a student in the Bay Area? 

  • Weather
  • Culture
  • Diversity

Although I do not have time to do everything I want, there are plentiful choices in hip restaurants, concerts, poetry readings, or museum exhibits. Since GSPP is just across the bridge from San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) makes it very easy to get around without a car.

In your view, what type of person will benefit from a GSPP education?
Someone who is willing to stretch themselves in new and different ways. It could mean taking the core microeconomics and statistics courses for a year, or it could be networking to land your dream job. In either example, GSPP provides the tools to reach your goal.

What has been your favorite class?
Robert Reich’s Leadership and Public Management class has been my favorite class because I appreciate hearing about his work as Labor Secretary and experiences as a public policy practitioner.

Who is your favorite faculty member? 
Steven Raphael, because no matter how complicated microeconomics got last semester, I could go to his office hours and discuss the criminal justice system in a way that helped me understand microeconomics better.

What is your best memory from GSPP?
Living in my house with three other GSPP first year students. When the first year class was admitted, GSPP put us all in a Facebook group where we got to know each other. The support (and comedic relief) has been amazing!