Home About the School Spotlights Combining Community with Expertise for a Well-Rounded Policy Education

Combining Community with Expertise for a Well-Rounded Policy Education

At the UMD School of Public Policy, the people make all the difference. Students study policy surrounded by faculty, staff and fellow students who are eager to make a change in the world and help each other do the same.
“I have been lucky to have been able to learn from some of the best professionals in the public policy world,” says recent SPP graduate Mariela Argueta. 
Argueta started studying public policy because of her interest in making a change in society. “I thought that a degree in public policy would prepare me for many issues that politicians deal with when trying to make an important change for people in vulnerable positions,” she says. “I have to say, as a graduating senior, I believe that my bachelor’s degree in public policy has fully prepared me for my future as a professional in public policy.”
“The best part of my experience at UMD was being around people from all walks of life,” she adds. “Within my policy classes, I was able to hear many different perspectives about critical issues in society. I was able to understand other people’s views and open my mind up to empathize and respect their side without confrontation. This has greatly impacted me because this will help me not only as a future policymaker but in everyday situations.”
She also says her interest in a public policy degree stemmed from her desire to advocate for others. “This semester, I interned at the UMD SAFE Center as an English language intern,” she says. “During my time there I was able to assist with many non-English speakers and help with building their resumes. I saw the real importance of education and why policies need to change to ensure everyone has equal access to it.”
Following graduation, Argueta plans to explore becoming an education advocate. “I see myself as a true professional--one that is able to make a difference in the world and become a pillar in the community.”