Learn more about why students have chosen the Bush School of Government & Public Service as Yuliana Galarza Soto ’22, Master of Public Service and Administration candidate, discusses her experience at the Bush School. She is also receiving a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Social Justice.
My name is Yuliana Galarza Soto, I’m from Houston Texas. I received my Bachelor’s degree here at Texas A&M from 2016-2019. I graduated in December. I received my Bachelor’s in English and Sociology, and then I decided to stay here for a little bit longer after working a few months remote in Dallas doing legal work for a nonprofit. I’m in the SA side of the program, and I’m in the Public Management track, and I’m also receiving a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Social Justice.
What do you like about the Bush School?
I heard about the Bush School here at A&M actually, working another job on campus and so, one of my colleagues was getting their IA degree here, and you could just hear the enthusiasm in her voice, and the way she spoke about professors and spoke about how there was that balance between the theory, the PhDs that were more on the theoretical side and the practitioners. And that really drew my attention because sometimes, it’s good to know that contrast between how things are on paper, and what they’re actually like when you get into the field.
What did you do in the summer between your first and second year? How did it supplement your education and/or career search?
So, over the summer my first year here at the Bush School, I did an internship for the organization I was already working for, but in a different department. So I went from the legal side to the development side, and I worked as their corporate relations intern, who was working with organizations like LuLu Lemon, Nike, all that. Looking at, kind of, their relationship to us and whether our missions as an organization aligned with their mission and what kind of partnerships could exist in the future. And that opportunity was great, because it helped me kind of put together what I had in the classroom and classes like Grants Management and Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector and really apply it and provide a different perspective than some of the people who were already there working and had different experiences. I was happy to provide that insight and that outsider perspective. It is exciting. You’ll hear this a lot – you either learn or confirm that what you want to do is what you want to do.
What is a challenge you encountered related to your Bush School education up to this point and how did you overcome it?
I think that, probably the biggest thing for any grad school program, but I think especially at the Bush School is the course load, in terms of how to balance your time, how to maintain a healthy balance between, you have to read, you have to write, you have to do all these things for school. And then, remembering that you’re also a person outside of school. But that’s been really helpful because, as you learn, the Bush School kind of provides you that holistic opportunity. So I was in SGA, and there I was able to meet students who were also stressed out, and also trying to complete these things but needed that time and sanity.
What advice would you give to first-years?
Attend all the events that everybody sends, because a lot of them are really cool and they lead to a lot of opportunities if you want them to. I have a business card from somebody from the Bush family and that’s super cool. We’re connected on LinkedIn and, that’s cool.
What class did you enjoy the most?
The class that I have enjoyed the most up to this point is one that I took last semester with Dr. Ashley, and I liked him so much that I’m taking another class with him this semester. It was Managing Diversity in the Workplace and I think it’s a really important topic, especially when you’re going into the public sector because you want to be able to serve and understand the backgrounds of various groups of people. And holistically, it makes you a more well rounded person to understand the challenges that some people have to go through. That really informs them, and informs your interactions with them.