Jun 26, 2012
Simone Rede (MSPPM 2012) has secured one of only 11 spots for the prestigious Hatfield Resident Fellowship in her home state of Oregon. The fellowship targets postgraduate master and Ph.D. students with a strong scholarship record and confirmed interest in public service and leadership. It is an academically rigorous, project-oriented, educational experience designed to provide each Fellow with an opportunity to acquire leadership skills with a public service agency in Oregon. In addition, Fellows commit to taking professional development courses aimed to supplement their subject matter expertise by increasing their leadership and management capabilities.
We caught up with Simone to find out more about her Hatfield Fellowship experience.
Heinz College: The fellowship is aimed at public service in Oregon. What prompted you to apply for such a fellowship?
Simone Rede: I initially learned about the opportunity from classmate Jonathan Yee (MSPPM ’12), who participated in the Oregon Fellowship last summer, a similar program for Master and Ph.D. candidates, and was encouraged to apply by Mary Hull Caballero (MSPPM ’06), my alumna mentor, who was also an Oregon Fellow. As a native Oregonian with public service experience that extends from Portland to Pittsburgh, I felt I would bring a combination of local knowledge and cross-regional perspective to the Fellowship.
HC: What qualities did you find helpful when applying?
SR: My commitment to public service, I believe, helped distinguish me from other applicants. I came to Heinz with five years of experience in the public and nonprofit sector and am leaving with two more under my belt. Since my first day of classes at Carnegie Mellon, I have been actively engaged in efforts to improve the economic vitality of the Pittsburgh region, beginning with the Urban Education Internship at Pittsburgh Public Schools and followed by the Lauble Fellowship at Allegheny County Economic Development. I am eager to explore the policy issues addressed by Clackamas County’s Business & Community Services Department through the Hatfield Resident Fellowship.
HC: What Heinz coursework did you find the most beneficial to you? Are there any specific courses or skills from your Heinz studies you found useful?
SR: Don Smith’s Urban and Regional Economic Development course provided me with a theoretical framework for practicing economic development—something that many economic development professionals lack. His course also required us to conduct an economic analysis of a region of our choice. I focused on the Portland metropolitan area, which enabled me to familiarize myself with local economic development entities, research their strategies, and propose my own recommendations for economic growth and job creation. Keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s happening regionally, despite the distance, and having the tools to analyze and interpret those trends, helped me secure my fellowship placement. Bob Webb’s Public Leadership course exposed me to the challenges and conflicts of the public sphere and gave me ample opportunities to express my ideas in a collaborative and competitive environment. He also taught me the importance of being lucky—a principle of effective leadership that I am actively demonstrating by virtue of being selected for this fellowship.
HC: What excites you about this opportunity?
SR: The chance to invest the knowledge and skills I have gained from one of the world’s top public affairs graduate schools in my home state excites me most about this opportunity.
HC: Do you have specific goals you hope to achieve during your service?
SR: Heinz College has prepared me to be an informed consumer and producer of policy-relevant research. This fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to shape the decisions of key players in the community and economic development arena and I am eager to do so through the effective use of quality evidence.
HC: What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
SR: The opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, project sponsors, and Portland State University faculty will help me grow my professional network after two years’ absence from Portland’s increasingly competitive job market. Exposure to a variety of state and local government agencies and collaboration with emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds will ultimately help me realize a career in public service.
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