LBJ student: Open House reassured me I was making the right choice | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

The LBJ School's 2020 Fall Open House is Nov. 13 — about a month before the Dec. 15 application deadline for priority funding for the 2021–22 academic year.

Open House is the perfect time to get all of your questions about the LBJ School answered — in sessions with Dean Angela Evans, Associate Dean for Students Kate Weaver, graduate coordinators from the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions, students, alumni and faculty. It's an opportunity to learn about the school's curriculum and culture, and the services available to students that help them get internships during their time in school and jobs after graduation.

Irving Calderon, a Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) student, participated in our open house, and said his experience made the difference and reassured him that the LBJ School was the right place for him.

We spoke with him about why his visit to LBJ made the difference. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

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Q: What did you know about the LBJ School before you participated in Open House?

IC: I knew the LBJ school by reputation and a few LBJ events I attended as an undergraduate student. I also did research on professors at the LBJ School, which helped me get an idea of the type of courses offered at LBJ.


Q: What questions did you have about the LBJ School before Open House? What did you learn?

IC: My questions:

  • How to write a good personal statement?
  • Descriptions of the core classes? Which ones are the most difficult?
  • How is the learning culture in LBJ?
  • What are examples of careers recent LBJ grads have entered?
  • Do we get a chance to take multiple classes from other UT departments?
  • Does LBJ support students prepare for the quantitative courses?

All of my questions were answered either by the Open House staff or student panel. I felt confident about applying to the school. I learned how to improve my personal statement and learned what to expect for each core class. I was extremely happy to also learn the details about the quantitative assignment prep provided during the summer.


"What stood out to me most was how supportive and open the staff was to help guide me through the application process. They not only answered my questions genuinely but were also available via email after the Open House event." —Irving Calderon


Q: Was Open a House a deciding factor for you to come to the school? What stood out to you?

IC: Coming into Open House I was leaning toward applying already, but wanted to get the reassurance that I was making the right choice.

Open House did help ease my mind that I did want to apply, mainly because of the people I met who were helpful and prepared me to put forth my best application. What stood out to me most was how supportive and open the staff was to help guide me through the application process. They not only answered my questions genuinely but were also available via email after the Open House event.


Q: What was the most valuable experience you had during Open House? Meeting with a graduate adviser? Talking to other students? Learning about fellowships/paying for your degree program?

IC:I thought the student panel helped me learn a lot about the culture and courses at LBJ. It felt good to hear students be real about their positive and negative experiences.


Q: Would you recommend a prospective student take part in Open House as they’re figuring out what to do about grad school?

IC: Absolutely. Open House is an opportunity to get a feel for the culture of LBJ and to meet LBJ faculty, advisers and students before you apply.


Q: What was your most memorable experience/highlight during your first semester?

IC: Getting an A on my first big assignment. It felt so good to see my tireless effort pay off.

 


Experience the LBJ School for yourself. Check out our webinars for prospective students or contact the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions.