Nashla Manzur Aranda

Master of Public Administration (MPA) Class of 2024

The opportunity to engage and discuss with professors and leading experts from around the globe on cutting-edge topics is a highlight of my experience at LSE.

Nashla Manzur-Aranda sq

Name: Nashla Manzur 

Programme and year: MPA Class of 2024  

Nationality: Chilean 


Can you tell us about your background and why you chose to study the MPA programme at SPP? 

I have a background in economics and econometrics, furthermore I worked for two years as an economic analyst in the Central Bank of Chile at the Monetary Policy Department. Yet, I felt the need to deepen my understanding of the interplay between geopolitics and economics in today’s globalised world.  

Firstly, the multidisciplinary nature of the MPA appealed to me for the opportunity of both broadening and deepening my knowledge. Secondly, and most importantly, what led me to decide to study at LSE was the chance to learn from outstanding public policy professionals and to be at the forefront of this domain. 

What have been some of your takeaways in your studies so far? 

Political will is key to unlocking the economic potential of many stagnated countries. Regardless of the availability of resources, the willingness of politicians to make agreements to enact effective policies is often the crucial factor in achieving sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, understanding the cultural and historical context of countries is fundamental to formulate thoughtful policies that can shape a better future. 

What can you tell us about your Capstone project and process so far? 

Four fellow MPA students and I worked on an economic report for Goldman Sachs, focusing on analysing the macroeconomic and societal implications of the ongoing demographic transition. The project was stimulating and challenging, it required close collaboration as a team to make the most of the project and achieve the quality of results we expected. The experience provided me invaluable insights into real-world professional dynamics, simulating the complexities of the job environment. It was an invigorating rehearsal before re-entering the job market and understanding the cultural dynamics of a work setting in the UK. 

What makes you feel #partoflse? 

The opportunity to engage and discuss with professors and leading experts from around the globe on cutting-edge topics is a highlight of my experience at LSE. Moreover, the exceptional accessibility of professors across various departments further enriches this experience, creating a unique and inclusive academic environment that truly embodies the spirit of LSE. Finally, the strong sense of belonging to the 5th floor of the CBG (a dedicated SPP space),  which helps in fostering vibrant discussions and connections with fellow students and friends, enhancing the overall sense of community and collaboration. 

Where is your favourite place in London? 

My favourite place in London is undoubtedly East London, with its unique markets, green spaces, cool pubs and cultural offerings around the vibrant areas of Hackney and Shoreditch. I believe that its eclectic blend of nationalities, sense of community and display of creativity makes it stand out from all areas of London. 

What are your favourite memories of student life at SPP so far? 

My fondest memories of student life revolve around the bonds formed with now lifelong friends from the MPA. Our intense study sessions on the 5th floor, our tradition of gathering every Thursday for a pint at the George, and our trips across Europe during study breaks are only some of the memories I will treasure forever. 

Who would you recommend the programme to? 

I would recommend the program to individuals who are curious about the intersection of politics and economics and inquisitive about using data to formulate high-level analyses and implement thoughtful policies. It is ideal for people who aspire to make a meaningful impact, prioritising the betterment of communities over personal aspirations. 

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering studying the MPA? 

Embrace the challenges - this is a beautiful learning process. Engage deeply with the coursework and take advantage of the wealth of resources and installations that LSE offers. Most importantly, foster meaningful connections with your peers and professors, as they will play a crucial role in shaping your journey and discovering your path if you are still unsure. Lastly, be prepared to seize the best two years of your life. 

Do you have any practical advice for our offer holders who are preparing to join us in September? 

I’d suggest reading some books on geopolitics to get a sense of the global dynamics of the last decades and to better understand how we ended up in today’s crisis/conflicts. This is essential to get involved in meaningful discussions during lectures.  

Furthermore, be aware of London’s tricky housing situation. Research beforehand, as it can take longer than you would expect to secure accommodation. Spare Room is always a good app to find either a room or buddying up with other students in the same situation. And take advantage of the outdoors and parks during September and then over the summer, as the winter feels too long. 

What are your plans and ambitions after graduation? 

Leveraging the knowledge and skills acquired during the MPA, I aspire to work in a place where I can actively engage in shaping and implementing policies that address today's societal issues, such as climate change or labour economics. Whether it may be working for international organisations, Think-Tanks, or the private sector, my goal is to always use a holistic approach and rely on data and history to understand the future dynamics. My hope is to help make a positive change through social and public-economic policy during these very challenging times for the geopolitical environment. 

Can you describe your SPP experience in three words? 

Vibrant. Enriching. Transformative.


Nashla is happy to connect on LinkedIn.