In her own words

Jamie Helberg

Having a Cuban refugee as a father and a Colombian immigrant as a mother, I was taught to take nothing for granted and chase after every puerta de oportunidad. Imparting wisdom from their life experiences, my parents ingrained in us that nothing is guaranteed. Particularly in my dad’s eyes, the world can take everything you own away – except your education. As a result, a hunger for academia grew deeper and deeper as I grew up. This hunger led me to be the first to attend and recently graduate from Pitzer College with a BA in Environmental Analysis. It was this same hunger that pushed me to enroll in a master’s program despite graduating in the middle of a pandemic. As the state of the world remains uncertain, I ultimately decided the best decision was to continue pursuing my education to better equip myself for what is to come in this economy and job market.

I chose to do my master’s in Public Policy & Management because I am committed to public service and want to gain a more tactical skillset to aid my liberal arts undergraduate background. My undergraduate experience revealed my underlying career interests in urban and environmental policy. This master’s program at Carnegie Mellon is teaching me the analytical tools I need to pursue my desired career path. Wherever my professional trajectory leads me, I aspire to produce research on urban environments and environmental racism to inform better and stronger policies that work towards environmental justice.

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