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National Service Scholar: Peter Schoffelen and Carnegie Melon Heinz College
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Peter Schoffelen '12 (New York) • give a year Scholar, Heinz College



"Now that I’m at Heinz I also realize how my City Year experience helped build my skills in areas that are incredibly valued in the professional world. The best example would be my public speaking. During City Year I was afforded countless chances to get up in front of hundreds and practice my presentation skills. I feel this is an area in which I am able to set myself apart from my peers and I owe that to City Year." PSchoffelen




What interested you in applying to Heinz College? Why do you think it's a good fit for City Year alumni?

I was interested in Heinz College because of it emphasizes building up your quantitative skills, which is lacking from many Policy programs; in our increasingly data-laden world quantitative analysis capabilities give me an edge.


I think the Heinz and City Year partnership is extraordinary because of how natural a fit it is for City Year alumni. Heinz College highly values leadership and social innovation. Corps members practice these skills every single day in the schools they work in. So if you’re like and me and aren’t ready for your idealist journey to end, I recommend taking a look at Heinz.



How did your experience at City Year impact your decision to pursue a Master’s degree in Policy? Can you pinpoint new skills or abilities you can attribute to the City Year experience?

My experience at City Year factored greatly into my decision to pursue a Master’s degree in Policy. I enjoyed the work I did with City Year, but I knew I needed to combine my service experience with a Master’s in Policy to make the biggest difference on a large scale.


Now that I’m at Heinz I also realize how my City Year experience helped build my skills in areas that are incredibly valued in the professional world. The best example would be my public speaking. During City Year I was afforded countless chances to get up in front of hundreds and practice my presentation skills. I feel this is an area in which I am able to set myself apart from my peers and I owe that to City Year.



Do you have plans for what field you would like to work in / position you want to pursue after you finish your degree?

I’m leaning toward pursuing consulting. It’s not necessarily a career path I see myself staying on, but the exposure you get to various industries and challenges is a learning experience that I feel would prove invaluable no matter what industry I end up in.


What advice do you have for corps members and alumni interested in pursuing a public policy degree?

Start now! I know it can be hard to motivate yourself to study for the GRE and prepare your applications, especially with the long days corps members work, but if you’re really serious about graduate school you need to give yourself the greatest chance to succeed, and that means starting early; you’ll be happy you did when the acceptance letters start to come in.


To learn more about our Partnership with Heinz College, click here.

To get in touch with Peter, click here.

To view more Alumni Pathways, click here.






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