How an alumni connection made all the difference in Saptarshi's decision to come to Harris.
Saptarshi Ghose, MSCAPP '19


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


BS in Public Policy and BS in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University

At Harris Public Policy, our accomplished network of alumni often refer some of our brightest and most talented candidates. Harris MPP ‘11 graduate Bryn Murray inspired Saptarshi Ghose to apply to Harris during their time working at EducationSuperhighway, an education non-profit dedicated to providing internet connectivity to students across the United States. Learn more about Saptarshi’s journey to becoming a Harris MSCAPP student and how his connection to a Harris alum made all the difference.

Where did you work before you came to Harris?

Before Harris, I worked at EducationSuperhighway, a non-profit education technology company, as a Senior Data Analyst. Its mission is to upgrade all kindergarten through twelfth grade public school students in the United States to high speed broadband internet access connections. In that role, my responsibilities were to analyze internet connectivity data from schools and make strategic recommendations from the data on how political leaders, school districts, and technology directors can affordably and sustainably meet the scaling bandwidth needs of all their students. As an organization, we helped modernize the E-rate program that helps school districts pay for the cost of their internet access; poorer schools get a higher percentage of their internet access bill reimbursed through the program. Among other changes, our modernization initiative helped bring newfound data transparency and opened up additional funding to support internet access upgrades.

The other main function of my role was to take strategic recommendations to political leaders and compel them to action. EducationSuperhighway is a privately funded non-partisan non-profit, funded in large part through donations from the philanthropy arms of entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. With that in mind, we charged no fee to our state partners for any of our analytics and consulting services—so it truly was a no-brainer for states and school districts to work with us. I was very fortunate to be able to help form and lead partnerships with Governors of both parties in states like Texas, Massachusetts, and Colorado. These partnerships led to crucial data transparency and legislative advances that helped fund school network upgrades in each state and enabled us to work closely with school districts to provide analytics and technical consulting to meet their unique technology needs. I am proud that I was part of a team that drastically helped expand broadband access to tens of millions of students across the country who previously did not have sufficient internet connectivity to enable digital learning.   

How did you know Bryn and what motivated you to apply?

Bryn worked as a District Consultant at EducationSuperhighway. I was struck by how passionate she was about our realistically achievable, but ambitious mission, and how excited she was to work at a company that was proving that evidence and technology-driven public policy is the way of the future. Bryn told me about how proud she was to be a graduate of Harris—in particular because Harris focuses intently on evidence-driven public policy. From our conversations, Bryn learned that I was specifically interested in how technology can be leveraged to make a scalable impact on difficult and entrenched public policy issues. She encouraged me to apply to Harris because of the clear match between my interests and experience and Harris’ curriculum and structure.

When did you realize Harris was the right place for you?

I realized Harris is the place for me after researching the MSCAPP program and speaking with my colleagues at EducationSuperhighway who are alumni or are currently at Harris. To me, Harris distinguishes itself from other public policy programs by treating public policy analysis as an evidence-driven and scientific discipline. I strongly believe that in order for us to collectively solve the most pressing issues of our time, we need to devise solutions driven by rigorous scientific analysis and aided by modern advances in computation. No other program I looked at was as intentionally committed to this approach as Harris. The curriculum, the lavish praise from current students and alumni alike, and the focus on evidence and computationally-driven policy analysis and strategy all made it clear to me that Harris is the place I needed to be.

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