Sebastián Parot MPP 2015 on His First Year at HKS

July 14, 2014
HKS Admissions Blog

Sebastián Parot MPP 2015 is a Harvard Kennedy School/Harvard Business School joint degree student. He is from Chile, where he initially worked in investment banking and then for the Chilean government as chief of staff and head of advisors for the Public Works Minister and then in the same position for the Mining Minister. He also is co-founder and past president of IdeaPais, a Chilean NGO aimed at training young leaders for politics.

Here is a portion of his self-authored blog post for the Kennedy School Admissions Blog on his first year at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).

One year goes really fast, especially at HKS—an amazing experience that enhances your vision of the world and politics, and strengthens your leadership skills. I want to share the four things that impressed me the most during my first year in the MPP program.

A dynamic and diverse classroom.


I never imagined such a rich environment inside the classroom. Having people from different backgrounds, countries and political positions, with impressive track records and experience, takes the class discussion to another level. You can really notice how positions change in different directions, creating a dynamic system that you probably won’t find anywhere else. I was, and still am, really impressed.

Inspiring stories with every classmate.

I am still surprised with the stories and experiences of my classmates. HKS offers such a diverse environment with extraordinary people that have done great projects to pursue social change—they become your teachers. I have discovered inspiring backgrounds in every single one of my classmates and friends that enhanced my view of social challenges.

Activities for every interest.

Here, the learning experience goes beyond the classroom experience. There are activities and projects for every interest you might have; and if not, you can create it. I have always been passionate about politics, with great interest for Latin America. At the beginning of my first year I joined a new study group, Latin American Politics. Every Friday I met with 25 extraordinary people to discuss and debate the main political issues and challenges of our region. The possibility of doing so with a group of leaders of incredible diverse political backgrounds, political positions, and countries, has been one of my best experiences of this year.

A unique opportunity to share and grow, enriching my own perspective and strengthening my network with future political partners who share a common vision: how to confront the social and political challenges of Latin America.

Get to know the world: there are treks everywhere!

These are student-organized trips to different countries with a specific agenda—culture, politics, businesses or leadership. And if a specific region is not “available”, you can create it.

This January I had the opportunity to organize a trek, where I took 15 classmates from my joint degree cohort to my home country Chile. This was a rich experience where I could show my culture and create bonds to my country.

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Sebastián Parot MPP 2015

Sebastián Parot MPP 2015

"This January I had the opportunity to organize a trek, where I took 15 classmates from my joint degree cohort to my home country Chile. This was a rich experience."

group picture of the joint degree cohort in Chile

January 2014 trek to Chile.