Robertson School of Government (RSG) students recently put their policy-crafting, networking and negotiating skills to the test at a student simulation competition. A member of a winning team, Jonathan Lantz ’16 (RSG), says his Regent University education prepared him for success navigating an unfamiliar policy with new faces. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) challenged teams to tackle global climate policy at eight locations. Lantz competed at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
“Going into it, I was expecting more of a close competition,” said Lantz. “What I found was the experience taught me about teamwork, the necessity of working together, even with people we don’t know, and doing that well.”
The diverse crowd of competitors included mostly Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate-level government students. In teams of 12, they aimed to craft policy that would slow global warming rise to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. They were divided into groups that represented different interests like industry, agriculture and population, and consumption. Lantz represented the interest of agriculture and land use. His primary concern was land clearance in developing nations and livestock practices.
“It was an opportunity to represent the RSG in a student competition and conference,” said Lantz. “It’s always neat to be able to see how Regent students compete with other schools. I was involved with a team that had another Regent student as well. We were active in developing policy and encouraging teamwork.”
Lantz was drawn to the idea of the competition by a desire to compare Regent to other schools. He discovered that he related well to students from other institutions.
“I found a lot of the leadership training and group project experience I had at Regent in the School of Government absolutely prepared me for this experience, and I was able to be comfortable in a subject I didn’t know with participants I didn’t know,” said Lantz.
Although he says the exercise was helpful and a good lesson in collaboration, Lantz would not endorse the policy his team developed. He graduates in May and is eager to enter a career in local or state government. He interned with the City of Virginia Beach, and says these sorts of experiences helped give him a taste for what he’d like to do and what to look for in a job.