Entrepreneurial MPA-DP Student Learns How to Change the World

The MPA in Development Practice program curates dynamic 12-week professional summer placements by developing partnerships with organizations working in sustainable development. Students also have the flexibility to develop their own placements. During past summer 56 second year MPA-DP students have worked in 30 countries for such partners, as MIT D-Lab and Mercy Corps in Uganda, OECD in France, the World Bank in Tanzania, FAO in Lao PDR, among many others. Students typically fill a “junior professional consultant role,” either assisting in the design and development of new initiatives or supporting and/or evaluating ongoing projects. They apply skills they have developed through past professional experience as well as from MPA-DP coursework.

Fernando Armendaris Puente (Class of 2019) has spent his summer with the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group in South East Asia. Fernando moved to the U.S. from Ecuador and has experience working at the World Bank focusing on various issued related to cities. This summer he traveled to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam developing case studies on urban resilience. “It’s always fascinating to me to read so much about a city and then go there and see it all come to life. I’m glad I have acquired so many tools that I’m already applying and I look forward to more epiphany moments of linking my experience back to SIPA,” Fernando reflects. To learn more about his summer placement watch DP120 video below. DP120s are short videos with stories from the field shared by development practitioners.

If you have questions or want to join the MPA-DP global community email us at: sipa_mpadp@columbia.edu