In November, Boston College alumnus Leon Ratz, Arts and Sciences 2011, spoke about his experiences that led him to pursue a masters degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He advised those interested in public policy to study abroad, apply for independent study programs, become involved in a campaign, volunteer in government, get to know professors, and take advantage of the strong BC network. He stressed how important writing a thesis is to developing your own ideas about subjects that matter to you. Ratz related that his involvement with amnesty international throughout high school and in college originally sparked his interest in his thesis topic, as well as his focus at the Kennedy School.
To Ratz, public policy is a blend of theory with application that involves studying the different skills one needs to create policy. He emphasized that graduate school right out of college is not for everyone, and his path was somewhat “unorthodox” as many of his classmates worked or volunteered before going on to school. That being said, he enthusiastically praised the faculty and students at the Kennedy School. Ultimately, his advice to students of BC was to use the incredible professors and resources at the school to their advantage so that they can formulate an idea of what they want to do when they graduate. Most importantly he praised the strength of the BC network and urged students to use it in any way possible.
-Kathryn Walsh, College of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013