Name: Peter Radu
Year: Second (MSW/MPP)
Policy Area of Concentration: social welfare, poverty, homelessness and mental illness
GSPP Graduation Year: 2016
Undergraduate School: Stanford University
Personal History: Previous work experience as a research assistant in a neuroeconomics lab at Stanford (2 years) and as a case manager for the chronically homeless in San Jose (2 years).
What attracted you to GSPP? GSPP offers the most rigorous quantitative training of the policy schools I looked at, a skill set I wanted to develop. The research on poverty and, until recently, homelessness was also a huge draw for me—it was clear that the faculty were engaging with the same issues I was struggling with as a case manager.
How did you prepare for the GSPP application and admissions process? I gave myself lots of time to work through several drafts of my admissions essays, and to have colleagues and friends read them over and offer their thoughts/edits.
What have you enjoyed most during your time at GSPP? I love how tightly-knit our cohort has already become after just one semester. We hang out together all the time.
What was your professional background before GSPP and what do you look to do with your degree upon graduation? I was a case manager for a non-profit in San Jose, working with dually-diagnosed chronically homeless clients. Our agency was part of a multi-sector, multi-agency collaboration to house the homeless in Santa Clara County, a project called Housing 1000. I was inspired by the progressive orientation of this policy-meets-social-work effort; it was actually working. I applied to the concurrent MPP/MSW program to get the skill set to bring this type of social service collaboration to other urban and suburban areas of California.
What is your favorite thing about being a student in the Bay Area? Berkeley is arguably the best city to be a grad student. The housing is expensive, but the array of cultural and outdoor opportunities in close proximity to campus is second to none. The weather doesn’t hurt, either.
In your view, what type of person will benefit from a GSPP education? Someone who is committed to social change and willing to work hard to bring it about…but also wants an excellent social experience with an inspiring and fun cohort. Get ready to make some great friendships.
What has been your best memory from GSPP? The Inaugural Big Game Tailgate on the GSPP Lawn!