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Admissions Blog

Student Profile

Lisa Corsetto, MPP '16

Name: Lisa Corsetto

Year:  First

Policy Area of Concentration:  International Development

GSPP Graduation Year: 2016

Undergraduate School:  University of California, Davis

Personal History: I’m a Bay Area native and studied Economics and International Agricultural Development at UC Davis. During my studies, I conducted a field research project on a government-run scholarship program in rural Mexico. Post-college, I worked as a project manager at a vocational training center for “at-risk” teens in Nicaragua and then worked for several Bay Area nonprofits that focused on health and education issues.


What attracted you to GSPP? When I was deciding between programs, I was contacted by a current GSPP student who took the time to learn what my interests were and connected me with many of her classmates. Each student with whom I spoke was incredibly kind and had amazing work experiences. I was eager to learn from my classmates while in grad school, and it seemed like I would learn a lot from the GSPP students. Also, the admissions and career services staff stood out as very helpful, detail-oriented, and well connected with potential future employers.

How did you prepare for the GSPP application and admissions process? I consulted with GSPP staff and faculty mentors from my undergrad program to determine if GSPP might be a good fit.

What did you enjoy most during your time at GSPP? Getting to know my classmates. They all have such unique experiences and deep knowledge in their areas of expertise. I’ve learned so much through conversations with my peers.

What was your professional background before GSPP and what do you look to do with your degree upon graduation? Before GSPP, I was working in a lot of operations roles - project management, event coordination, community outreach. Upon graduation, I hope to be in a role that requires both operations and quantitative/analysis work.

What is your favorite thing about being a student in the Bay Area? Being close to my family, and the weather!

In your view, what type of person will benefit from a GSPP education? Someone who is looking to build up their quantitative and leadership skills to be more effective in policy work.

What has been your favorite class? Spatial Data and Analysis with Sol Hsiang. We learned to analyze and visualize spatial data in Matlab and QGIS.

Who is your favorite faculty member? Sol Hsiang is an excellent teacher, and Hilary Hoynes is a fantastic mentor.

What is your best memory from GSPP? Bonding with my classmates through challenging schoolwork, and finding every possible occasion to celebrate with them outside of the classroom.