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Student Profile: Francisco Garcia, MPA '18

July 20, 2017

Francisco Garcia, MPA ’18, a former small business owner and financial services employee, is currently a fellow at GoodCompany Ventures, a nonprofit organization that provides educational services to early-stage social entrepreneurs. In this interview, Francisco discusses his fellowship, the Fels experience, and his post-graduate plans.

What professional/academic work were you engaged in before you came to Fels?

I was a small business owner for a short time after college, and most recently I spent over two years working in the financial services industry.

Why did you choose Fels to pursue your MPA?

I chose the MPA program because I plan to pursue a career in city government. Fels’ legacy of preparing public leaders—in an intimate academic setting located in an urban hub—was particularly appealing to me.

How do you seek to use your Fels degree post-graduation?

Initially, I’d like to use my experience in business and lessons in public management to help an organization or city administration build a more inclusive economy. Eventually, I hope to participate in politics by running for public office.

What is your favorite aspect of the Fels experience?

I love that Fels has been a platform to explore diverse interests in things that matter to people. Every day is an opportunity to engage with a classmate, speaker, alumni, or local organization that is working on something that impacts people’s lives. 

How has Fels influenced your understanding of public service?

Fels has taught me that there are many ways to be a public servant. There has been no shortage of civic engagement opportunities, and one of the benefits of being a part of a diverse cohort is that I can take part in an advocacy effort one day and a social enterprise project the next. 

You’re currently working as a fellow at GoodCompany Ventures. Please describe your role:

As a Social Finance Fellow at GoodCompany Ventures (GCV), my job is to work with the Executive Director to develop a sustainable funding model for the organization. GCV is a nonprofit startup accelerator for social entrepreneurs, and this year our program is supporting ten early-stage companies focused on climate adaptation technology.

What is the most challenging aspect of your internship?

The most challenging aspect of the role is figuring out an effective way to allocate time to work on long-term strategies and the current demands of the program. Public administrators are constantly looking to make the best use of limited resources, so I view it as a valuable experience. 

What is most interesting about the work you’re performing?

I enjoy working with people that are tackling massive challenges in food and water systems. Our entrepreneurs are from six different countries, so it’s also interesting to witness cross-cultural collaboration.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu