Frances Vega Headshot
Frances Vega 
Indiana Governor’s Commission on Supplier Diversity; Commissioner, Neighbors Educational Opportunities (NEO); Board President

Something was missing for Frances Vega. She had found a job listing that appealed to her, but knew she lacked the knowledge of public policy the job required. The Master’s degree she had earned was in another discipline, so Ms. Vega searched the web for a way to fill in the knowledge she lacked. Plus, any program she chose would need to fit into her busy life as a working mother. 

She came across Harvard’s Public Leadership Credential, attended a free information session, and immediately knew she had found what she needed. As she put it, “The Public Leadership Credential program at Harvard is an exemplary online program that quickly leads to immense learning while comfortably juggling work, family, and community life. The course content complements every aspect of your personal and professional life, and they bring the classroom into your home.”

Taught entirely online, Harvard’s Public Leadership Credential (PLC) is comprised of six six-week courses in three subject areas: Evidence for Decisions, Leadership and Ethics, and Policy Design and Delivery. Ms. Vega thought the program’s design was easy to follow and user-friendly. “My workload, volunteerism in the community, and family schedule take up much of my time. I took the PLC because it was easy to manage my time, especially with the suggested weekly time commitments noted at the start of each module.”

In addition, she felt she benefited from skills and strategies that only Harvard’s PLC program could offer. “While everyone faces their life challenges differently, PLC gave me a toolkit to work smarter, not harder.” 
Ms. Vega felt that she gained important insights into understanding herself and the people around her. She adds, “Most importantly, I wanted to learn how to move forward despite differences and opposition.”

Vega learned important lessons about creating strength by harnessing her emotions and believing in herself. “The Harvard PLC has strengthened me personally and professionally. I better understand myself and others. My favorite part of the learning experience was the weekly discussion groups, which allowed me to share my knowledge and learn from my peers, and made the course more personal.”

Of course, there is also the name recognition aspect of the Harvard experience. “Ultimately, because of the PLC, people treat me differently. Harvard is one of the most recognized schools in the world. I’m proud that people are genuinely impressed when I mention that I completed the PLC at Harvard.” 

Vega sees herself using her PLC learnings to make a difference in the world. “I aspire to help others help themselves reach the quality of life they deserve. I recently started a non-profit that will help the disadvantaged population receive training for self-empowerment, career opportunities, and better-paying jobs. The course work has taught me how to mobilize and manage myself, my moral judgments, and inspire others to promote public value and social justice.”

In the past, her emotions had been the driving force behind Vega’s leadership decisions. Now she finds her abilities are strengthened by embracing her emotions as one part of her capacity to lead. “Through the PLC, I have strengthened my foundation and hope to implement what I have learned in real-world leadership practice.”

Clearly, Ms. Vega had a positive experience with the Harvard PLC program. “Words cannot explain the value of PLC and what I have learned. You must go through the program to understand how powerful it is. The value of the coursework, the colleagues who contribute to your learning, and the faculty and staff are priceless. I have made new friends who continue to help me grow and develop. Learning with such a support group is truly lifelong.”