As part of a year-long practicum with the Policy School’s World Class Cities Partnership, seven MURP students are travelling to seven partner cities around the world this week. Each student is paired up with one WCCP partner city throughout the Spring Semester, contributing to joint research on talent retention and job creation. The trip provides an opportunity for the students to meet face-to-face and spend a week with the partners in the respective cities.
- Jessica Casey – Dublin, Ireland
- Scott Zadakis – Barcelona, Spain
- Ture Turnbull – Lisbon, Portugal
- Francisco Torres – Haifa, Israel
- Diego Rodriguez Renovales – Guadalajara, Mexico
- George Durante – Vancouver, Canada
- Taleya Hamilton – Hangzhou, China
Background on the Practicum
The Practicum experience provides students with the opportunity to work on a supervised real-world project addressing a specific policy issue. The Practicum is intended to integrate knowledge, methods, analysis, and teamwork. For the 2011/2012 year, the faculty identified a unique yearlong experience with the World Class Cities Partnership. The World Class Cities Partnership (WCCP) brings together civic, business and academic leaders from cities spanning the globe – Barcelona, Boston, Dublin, Guadalajara, Haifa, Hangzhou, Lisbon, and Vancouver – for the purpose of creating sustainable social change through policy research, and development and implementation of best practice solutions to common challenges.
In this two-semester experience, students will work in both a group setting and individually, assisting the WCCP in producing research-based deliverables that address the research focus of the Partnership. This year’s policy research topic is Talent Retention and Job Creation — analyzing the attraction, retention, and loss of workforce participants.
This project provides an opportunity for students to work on a client project, gain real-world experience, engage in primary data collection, apply research methods to policy issues, and develop relationships with local and global WCCP participants. For their Practicum, the students worked together on the Boston-based research in the Fall 2011 in preparation for their international Capstone assignments in Spring 2012. With guidance from former Governor Michael Dukakis, the students’ primary deliverable was a case study on the recent move of Vertex Pharmaceuticals from Cambridge to Boston that highlighted positive and negative implications of existing public policies. Students conducted a literature scan incorporating theory and practice as well as collecting original data through a review of existing policies, policy briefings and reports, and a large number of interviews with public officials and other stakeholders associated with this move. Students presented their findings in a formal presentation to their peers and faculty focusing on the decision point of whether or not the state and city governments, along with the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, should offer large tax incentives to simply move a private company across the Charles River and whether that funding could be better spent elsewhere. This case is currently being edited and finalized by the students’ faculty advisors for publication in this summer.