The Northeastern Association for Public Policy Students (NAPPS) is a graduate student group founded by students in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs that aims to provide a forum for students to come together, exchange ideas, and collaborate on professional development and a myriad of projects in a range of policy fields. One of NAPPS’ strengths is its interdisciplinary nature, promoting shared interests and ambitions. NAPPS is heavily involved with career and networking development and helps students apply the skills acquired at Northeastern University to reach their goals.
Kathleen Kenney, a part-time MPA student who works fulltime, felt she was not connecting to other students on a social level. Determined to change that, she joined the Northeastern Association for Public Policy Students (NAPPS) in 2015, a student group in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.
“A lot of us are working fulltime, I think you miss out on that social aspect that you might have with a full-time program so that’s where NAPPS can come in, fill that gap and create more opportunities for students to get to know each other,” said Kenney who is graduating in December 2015. “That has been one of the best things about this Masters program – the informal conversations I’ve had with people before and after class and these meetings. People don’t think of that as much, and that’s really valuable.”
NAPPS, which was founded by students in 2014, serves as an academic, professional, and social community for the School’s graduate students.
Sitting at a conference table on the third floor of Renaissance Park on Nov. 5, 2015, members discussed the group’s interdisciplinary nature and how NAPPS is heavily involved with career and networking development and encourages sharing of academic interests.
“I think it’s great to familiarize yourself with other people’s research because you don’t want to wait until capstone to figure out what people have been doing for the last two or three years,” President Sonya Bhabhalia said.
One of NAPPS cornerstone events is an annual two-part career workshop in the spring that is open to the public and includes a career networking event as well as first-hand testimonials from alumni about their jobs.
“Yes, we have an executive board and a core organizing committee, but it is free to join or participate in any of our events,” said Bhabhalia, a student in the LPP program. “You don’t have to identify as a NAPPS member. We’re here to support the public policy student body.”
The group of 12 is actively recruiting. The goal is to have proportional representation for each of the graduate programs, according to members.
“I would like to see more consistency within the structure of our organization and become more known within the School of Public Policy, getting more members, and promoting smaller events that we will be hosting throughout the year,” said Gladys Leyva, an MPA student.
For more information, or to join NAPPS, email Jim Tarr at firstname.lastname@example.org.