Networking with Alumni in D.C. and New York

Over the course of our spring break, approximately 60 members of our cohort traveled to Washington, D.C. and New York City to network and connect with Maxwell alumni who work in various professions in the public, private, and nonprofit fields.

The busy week’s networking festivities kicked off at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an internationally-focused think tank in D.C. that the Maxwell School has a unique partnership with. Throughout the D.C. leg of the trip, current students had the opportunity to attend site visits and coffee chats with a variety of organizations that had a Maxwell connection. The Office of Personnel Management, the Brookings Institute, the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Energy, the World Bank, and Booz Allen Hamilton are a just few names of the many site visits our cohort attended. A group of MPA students attended the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank that considers the needs of low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families. The two MPA alumni who worked there shared the steps they took to land their job and current projects they are currently working on. The most valuable trip for me was visiting the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce, given its relevance to my interests in higher education and labor policy. After this visit, I was able to connect with a 2010 alumnus about a graduate summer fellowship opportunity starting in July. He even offered to connect me with the Fellow Coordinator and offered a recommendation.

During the latter half of the trip, we were able to connect with Maxwell alumni based in New York City. Some of site visits included the Clinton Foundation, the Peterson Foundation, Hagerty Consulting, Red Cross, UNICEF, and Doctors Without Borders.

One of the best parts of the New York leg of the trip for me was meeting a Class of 1949 MPA alumnus by the name of David Bauer. He offered to host four of us at his flat on Roosevelt Island for half a week while we were networking with other NYC-based Maxwell alumni! It was an incredible opportunity to hear the work he did in government consulting over dinner, which took him to places across the world such as Ukraine.

Even though the point of the trip was not to walk away with a job offer, it was extremely insightful for us to hear Maxwell alumni shed light on their path since graduating. We were able to hear from them what they wish they knew during their job search and career development process, and they even offered us their mentorship. On top of that, it was reassuring to hear from them how applicable and actionable the skillsets we develop at Maxwell are to the profession. It reaffirmed that skills such as policy memo writing, negotiations, budget management, economic analysis, and running regressions will be relevant at a future job.

I would encourage all future students to proactively seek the advice and mentorship of alumni in the massive Maxwell network who may share similar policy interests. Whether these alumni are in D.C., New York City, are state-or-local based, or are in another country, many of them are willing to share an experienced perspective or lend a helping hand if you reach out. It was incredible to meet alumni who have graduated in the 1970s and were able to recite the Athenian Oath, remembering the core values of citizenship and what it means to have a heart of a public servant.


Students at the D.C. Public Schools site visit.

MPA/MAIR student Vahid Khatami connecting with Maxwell staff at CSIS.

MAIR students outside the Brookings Institute.

Students at the Lubin House in New York City during a happy hour.

MPA student Susannah Bartlett connecting with a Maxwell alumnus.

Maxwell MPA alumnus David Bauer ’49 and the students he hosted on Roosevelt Island before dinner.