Get to Know HKS: Student Q&A with Ana Ortez-Rivera MPP

Get to Know HKS: Student Q&A with Ana Ortez-Rivera MPP

Ana Ortez-Rivera is an MPP student originally from Maryland.

After attending the University of Maryland, College Park, she served as a Career and Life

Skills Advisor at a charter school, helping adult learners explore college and

career options. Her areas of interest include educational policy, immigration,

social impact, and data science.

What are your favorite things about your experience at HKS?

What I value most about my HKS experience is that I have

endless opportunities surrounding me at school. As a current student, there are

multiple avenues—programs, events, speakers, clubs, and individuals—through

which I can explore my interest areas, learn something completely new, and access

a wealth of information.

There is also space to create something if it is missing on

campus. For example, last spring a group of friends and I created the “HKS First Gen Night” event on

campus using funding from the student government Social Equity Fund. Nearly 70

students who identified as being first-generation

students gathered to create a safe space to discuss and celebrate shared

experiences. We had meaningful conversations about the challenges of being

first-generation students and created a community of support.

How would you describe your community at HKS?

HKS students are passionate about creating positive change

in the world. Each student I have come across offers a unique set of

experiences, passion, and vision for the future. I am often left in awe after meeting

new people and hearing their stories, and I am more motivated to pursue my

passion for advancing educational equities.

What advice do you have for prospective or admitted students considering HKS?

My advice for students considering HKS is to know that there

are many ways to find your support system on campus to help ground you

throughout your journey. When entering this space, it may be very easy to

become overwhelmed by the courses, resources, and endless opportunities on

campus. However, it is key to ground yourself in networks that remind you of

why you came to this school and where you want to go in the future. We all need

a friend, partner, or family member to vent with at the end of the day or

celebrate successes.

Quick questions

  • Favorite class: API 318: Thinking Analytically in an Uncertain World with Professor Dan Levy
  • Favorite study spot: Third floor of the Littauer building
  • Favorite restaurant near campus: Singh’s Dhaba in Central Square
  • One bucket list item you want to accomplish before

    graduating: Visiting every Harvard library

    on all the campuses

  • Favorite guest speaker:

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy