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National ServiceScholar: Nancy Santucci and Rutgers - Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

Nany Santucci '12 •  The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers

"Once I began my service with City Year I realized I wanted to get to work on influencing policy as soon as possible."

 I decided to serve with City Year because I wanted to have some hands-on action in social change. In my college classes, I became educated about the issues that exist in education today and I wanted to be a part of solving those issues. I also saw it as an opportunity to further explore what exactly I want to do and experience something different – a different city, a different workplace, and a brand new group of friends.

The skills that I learned during City Year relate to the relationships I had with my students. I learned how to be a better listener and a patient tutor. I also learned how to compromise my own personal wants (like more sleep, privacy, not feeling goofy) for the greater good of my team and my students.

I always knew that I wanted to pursue a master's degree at some point in my life, I just didn’t expect to return to school right after my year of service. However, once I began my service with City Year I realized I wanted to get to work on influencing policy as soon as possible. I became interested in a Master's of Public Policy after doing some research on different graduate degrees. When I was informed about City Year's University partnerships, I only applied to schools on that list, including Bloustein.

I love the Master of Public Policy program at Bloustein. It’s a comprehensive program that will allow you to graduate with a well-rounded background of knowledge, including economics, research methods, and management. These skills are essential in understanding many of the policy issues at all levels – local, state, and federal. Not only is the degree program challenging and stimulating, but the staff at the school is superb. They are dedicated to giving their students the best possible experience and they encouraged us to be proactive about our education and activities. There is also a great community of students that have become my second family. Not to mention, New Brunswick is a wonderful little city that keeps adding new restaurants and nightlife. Its proximity to the state capitol, New York City, Philadelphia, and the beach also can’t be beat.

After I complete my Master of Public Policy degree, I plan on working at a government agency in Washington, D.C. I hope to get some good career experience for a few years in D.C. and then possibly move back to the New York metropolitan area. I’m excited to put my skills to use in public service.

My advice to alumni planning to apply to this program is first
of all, do it! Apply, and if you get accepted, attend! Look at the professors and their interests. Look at the current class schedules to see if there is a particular professor, class, or concentration that interests you and contact those professors. Get the conversation going and get excited.

I also would recommend going to the Open House in the spring as you will meet and get to know many of your future classmates, the Bloustein staff, and professors even sooner. I know I reference that day a lot still when reminiscing about the past two years.


Learn more about our University Partnership with The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers .

Email Nancy.

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