Matt Shomo
Matt Shomo, Class of 2020

My name is Matt Shomo and I am an incoming first year student at the Harris School of Public Policy. I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and graduated from Ohio State in December of 2015 with a degree from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. After graduation, I moved back to Northeast Ohio and managed a state legislature campaign during the 2016 election cycle. Beginning in January of 2017, I started at a community development/housing nonprofit called the Summit County Land Bank, located in my hometown of Akron. In my year and a half with the Land Bank, I was responsible for a variety of projects including grant management, program development, and community outreach.

While I enjoyed my time working in the nonprofit sector in Ohio, I knew that it was time for something new; something to challenge me and enable me to develop crucial skills in the competitive policy world. The University of Chicago and Harris Public Policy in particular have a well-deserved reputation for challenging students and providing them with analytical skills to work on evidence-based solutions to some of our world’s most pressing issues. I was accepted into the program at Harris in February of this year and visited during Admitted Students Day in March. That was when I knew this was the perfect fit for me. The students and staff were so warm and receptive and open to answering questions. The presentations were engaging and thoughtful. And I could tell that everyone around me shared my passion for policy and my desire to make the world a better place.

Upon accepting my admittance offer, I moved to Chicago this summer for an internship with DLA Piper, a global business law firm located in more than 40 countries worldwide. My internship placement was with the principle economist in the tax practice group and my work mostly involved financial modeling and property valuation. While this work is not necessarily aligned with my background in local government and housing policy, it was an excellent learning experience and prepared me for the start of classes this fall.

I am eager to be a student again and looking forward to taking on the challenges of the first quarter here at Harris. I’m excited to meet the other incoming students and make the most of the strong sense of community shared by the university and Harris Public Policy. Public policy matters now more than ever, and Harris is the perfect place to be engaged in the discussions shaping the future of our communities, our countries, and our world.