Student Stories: Peter Schoffelen

Nov 05, 2012

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As a first year Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM) student, Peter Schoffelen brings a unique combination of educational and professional experience to Heinz College. Originally from New Jersey, Peter travelled across the country to pursue his undergraduate degree in Political Science at Seattle University. From there, he pursued an opportunity at City Year, a program with a mission to build democracy through citizen service.

During this transformative time, Peter worked as a tutor and mentor for eighth graders in the Queens Bridge Housing Projects in New York City. These experiences showed him that certain problems, such as educational access and lack of job training, that exist in such neighborhoods as Queens can be addressed and resolved.  Peter concluded that his impact on the world would be greater if he built his policy and management skills and found that Heinz was the ideal place for him to gain the tools necessary to bring upon such change.

In addition to the rigorous academic environment, Peter has been pleased with how much the college was willing to support his desire to earn a master’s degree. He shares, “The level of interest and financial support has been tremendous. Heinz showed a genuine interest in me attending the college, and this did not stop once I was admitted. The college continued to reach out to me and invite me to events such as Admitted Student Day while also providing the financial means to attend these events.” 

While only a few months into his Heinz experience, Peter has enjoyed a very fruitful and invigorating time. In addition to his classes, he took part in the Deloitte Case Challenge, which proved to be a great educational experience. “It was a very interesting and exciting experience with a huge learning curve. The amount of creative and critical thinking that was required was unbelievable. A case challenge is like solving extremely complicated puzzle but that’s what Heinz students like me love to do.” 

When asked what makes Heinz College a unique place Peter states, “The amount of tools you graduate with are incredible. I know the quantitative tools I will acquire at Heinz College will set me apart from other applicants in the work force and they will enable me to hit the ground running. Heinz is an extremely challenging place but the professors more than equip you with the tools to excel inside and outside the classroom.  Students here have the courage and belief in themselves to make anything happen. That’s the Heinz spirit!”


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