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Lara Sampaio, IBEI Alumni 2014-16

Name and Last Name: Lara Sampaio

Nationality: Brazilian

Master studied at IBEI: Master's in Public Policy (Mundus MAPP)

Class: 2014-16

Current working company, position and city: Researcher and Public Policy Specialist at the Brazilian Ministry of Economics, Brasilia (Brazil)


1. Why did you choose the IBEI Master’s?

I chose the Mundus MAPP for three main reasons. First, the high quality of the universities that were part of the consortium was decisive. Second, Mundus MAPP offered a 2 years master course. I was interested in being dedicated to my studies for that period. Finally, I was Mundus MAPP enabled me to experience two different academic experiences, first at Central European University, and then at IBEI.

2. What is your experience at IBEI? 

The track I chose for the Mundus MAPP was the Global Public Policy (CEU/IBEI). Then, I followed the second year of my master course at IBEI. I was happy to be part of a diverse international student body. The heterogeneity of the faculty members was remarkable. I especially liked the mix of theoretic and more practical courses.

3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI

After graduating from IBEI, I came back to Brazil to continue working as a Public Policy Specialist for the Federal Government. I served as a Programme Manager of an initiative to reduce rural poverty providing extension services and funds to vulnerable families living in remote areas. I am currently working as a Researcher at the Ministry of Economics, studying the user experience of citizens and enterprises in their interactions with public services.

4. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now? 

A key benefit from the master course was the advancement of my knowledge in research theory and methods. I followed different courses, both at CEU and at IBEI, that gave me a solid understanding of the possibilities and limitations of doing research in the social field. Additionally, the courses that discussed poverty reduction and development put me in contact with recent discussions on these topics.

5. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?

I pictured myself having a higher capacity to contribute to social policy development after I finished the master course. This is certainly the case. I feel much more confident to participate in policy formulation, implementation and evaluation because of the knowledge acquired during the master programme.

6. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?

The university offers a range of possibilities. If possible, try to have an idea of what you want to do after you finish the master programme. This will help you to tailor your studies to your future professional expectations by choosing the appropriate courses, the topic of your thesis and the people you want to learn from.

7. What do you miss most about IBEI? 

I miss the diversity of points of view and cultural references in the academic debates. It was a pleasure to learn about international relations not only by studying theory but also by learning about such different perceptions.