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UCLA Magazine Summer 2004
Of God and Blue-Footed Boobies
The Providential Scholar
Of the Community, By the Community, For the Community
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Summer 2004
Good Fellows
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Castro also learned from Lowenthal about the value of communicating with people. "He knows who's the right person to talk to at a particular moment, which enables him to state issues directly without going through people who don't have the power or the position to help," she says. "I've always approached people before, but knowing Abe has backed up my tendency."

Networking is crucial for upcoming graduates, but for many, a first-rate career is often a question of geography: Networking among mentors and students on the East Coast, for example, has traditionally been more intense than on the West. So it's not surprising that helping students get key internships in Washington, D.C., was one of the central challenges for senior fellow Barbara Nunberg, a public-sector specialist with the World Bank. Besides discussing critical policy issues that her three students encountered in their course work, Nunberg advised them on approaches to take when they acted like consultants in client-focused projects.

"What they are doing is fantastic," Nunberg says. But she is concerned that while her protégés have done a lot of work on domestic matters, "they have not had as much exposure to applied international-development issues." The best thing for them, Nunberg suggests, would be to "get their feet wet working in international organizations — and that is the beauty of an internship."

Access to the right people matters greatly in public policy. "The problem with public policy [as it is taught in the classroom] is that it doesn't tell you the lay of the land," says Ayappa Ponnappa Biddanda, a first-year student of policy studies. "It's not very good at telling you how things are to be done." For Biddanda, knowing the "how" of public policy is vital, not least because the focus of his studies is how the arts and popular culture improve community life and help shape public policy.

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