“I was interested in expanding my analytical and technical skill set in environmental policy and natural resources management. The Evans School is in the top ten graduate programs in the country for environmental policy, and happened to be in my hometown and one of the best (and most beautiful) regions for natural resource work. For me, it was an easy choice.”
- Rachael Katz (MPA ’11)
Rachael Katz, a recipient of the Daniel J. Evans Endowment for Excellence in Public Service fellowship during her studies at the Evans School, is currently an environmental planner with Tetra Tech.
What made you choose to get an MPA from the Evans School?
I was interested in expanding my analytical and technical skill set in environmental policy and natural resources management. The Evans School is in the top ten graduate programs in the country for environmental policy, and happened to be in my hometown and one of the best (and most beautiful) regions for natural resource work. For me, it was an easy choice.
How did the fellowship that you received from the Evans School help support your pursuit of the MPA?
It made all the difference. I was able to focus on learning and know that I would graduate without debt—a huge privilege for which I'm profoundly grateful. My research assistant position while at the Evans School was helping coordinate the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship program. This program brings 10 to 15 mid-career fellows to Evans every year from all around the world. It was a unique job experience and definitely an added a profound personal and professional benefit to my Evans School degree.
What skills from your Evans School education, or lessons from the faculty, have been the most useful in your recent or current positions?
Clear, concise, persuasive writing; teamwork and coordination; and seeking creative, effective solutions to complex problems.
If you completed an internship, please share any highlights or whether it helped in your job search efforts after graduation.
I completed my internship with the White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington, D.C. I’d have to say the entire experience was a highlight of my career to date, and helped considerably in job search efforts.
How has being a part of the Evans School network benefited you in your work or professional development?
It's a great benefit to have such a large Evans School network in the area. For my work and for almost any other public interest area, I know I can find someone to seek advice, a new connection, or just to commiserate.
What advice do you have for people who want to work in an organization or a position like yours?
Take advantage of the variety of courses offered through the Evans School and other UW departments that expand (or improve) your technical abilities. That could mean economics, budget management, computer software like ArcGIS, or environmental science. I'm still a generalist, but it’s key to be able to conduct some analyses and understand enough of specialists’ work to be dangerous.