January 2017 Student Spotlight
January Student Spotlight with Karla Rangel, BSPA ’17
The typical BSPA student is passionate, driven, and hard-working, fitting the “make a difference” ethos of the program. Karla Rangel fits this profile in the way she strives to learn, engage, and effect change. For our first student spotlight of 2017, Karla talks about the BSPA program, her Hagedorn internship, and working with the State Assembly.
Why did you join the BSPA program at MSPIA?
When I was in the process of deciding what major to choose I went to speak with different Departments. When I went to MSPIA’s department and they explained to me what the program is about I simply fell in love with it. I always knew that I wanted to do the type of work that makes a difference on people’s lives and BSPA fit the description perfectly.
How has the BSPA program surprised you?
I had very high expectations about the program, but when I started taking PAF courses I was surprised to realize how much the professors care about their students. They encourage us to take advantage of the internships that the School of Public Affairs offers, they are always guiding us, and assisting in anything we need in order to advance in our careers. Also, the relationship among the BSPA students and the willingness to help each other is impressive. However, it all makes sense because we all have a common goal, to make our communities a better place to live in, and it all starts with the connection among colleagues.
Tell us about your Hagedorn internship.
I am interning at Dress for Success, which is an international non-for-profit organization that provides women with a network of support, professional attire and the tools to help them be successful at work and in life. It empowers women to achieve economic independence.
I intern at the headquarters where the administrative work is being done and also all the affiliates are overseen to ensure they are working properly. One floor down is where the magic really happens, the boutique. I get the best of both worlds, on one hand I am learning how the organization operates at a national and international level. On the other hand, I have the opportunity to not only assist with the tasks needed to make the boutique function smoothly, but I get to interact with the women participating in the programs. Witnessing firsthand the way these women are benefited by the organization efforts and knowing that I am part of the team that makes that happen gives me a satisfaction that is inexplicable.
Everybody at the organization is very passionate about the work they do and they truly care about the women they help. This creates an environment that motivates me and invites me to want to help more in any aspect that I can. I simply love being part of such a positive place.
What was the most enriching aspect of your work with the State Assembly?
My experience at the NYS Assembly was extraordinary, but the most enriching aspect was the mock session. Learning the process of how a bill becomes law not only by observing but by taking the role of an assembly member was a very empowering experience. Another aspect that gave me great satisfaction was to know that I was part of an elite that is making a difference. Every letter, every meeting, and every phone call is contributing to impacting the people of the entire estate of New York and that is a very powerful feeling.