Loyola University Chicago

Masters of Urban Affairs and Public Policy


Alumni Spotlight

Dael Davila Elguera

My name is Dael Davila Elguera and I am from Peru where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the National University of Cajamarca and a juris doctor from the private University of the North. Throughout the years, I have worked with the public and private sector; enhancing relations and working closely with regional governments.

 After many years of professional experience, I was looking for a master’s program that combined both practical skills and ethical values for a broader understanding of public policies that impacted communities in a positive manner. Fortunately, in 2013 I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in the United States. I had heard of Loyola University Chicago during a scholarship presentation and liked its curriculum, the quality of professors and their connection with Jesuit universities across the world. Furthermore, I was interested in the experience of living in Chicago. These reasons contributed greatly to my decision of studying in Chicago.

My two years in Loyola and Chicago were wonderful. The curriculum fulfilled all my expectations of learning practical skills to design, implementing and evaluating public policies. All the courses were very useful, for instance, the GIS and Statistical Analysis class. Furthermore, my Loyola experience was completed with student’s organizations and I also lived by Jesuit values of social justice and integrity. Finally, while in Chicago I had the experience of doing an internship with the Peruvian Consulate, a decision that directly shaped my future.

I have had the opportunity to pursue several internships in my home country, Peru. One of them was with a non-profit organization linked to the miner sector which allowed me to develop a strong professional network in this field. My second internship was with Peru’s government where I designed an evaluation plan of public policies regarding education. On both of these internships, including the internship with the Peruvian Consulate, I designed maps using the GIS software that I had learned during my master’s degree, this included the statistical analysis class that helped measure the impacts of public policies.

When I finished the Master of Public Policy program, I returned to Peru where I worked as the coordinator of the intercultural justice center. In this position, I oversaw the implementation of public policies in the judicial sector. My responsibilities were to ensure low income communities and non-Spanish speakers had access to these services. However, during my time in Chicago as an intern in the Peruvian Consulate, I started to enjoy working in the diplomatic sector. As a result of this experience, I decided to apply to the Peruvian Diplomatic Academy, a very rigorous program that prepares the future diplomats of the country. This is also a master’s degree in international relation and diplomacy. This program allows me to work in Peru for two years and then serve in different regions of the world. The experience that I had in Loyola helped me to follow and design bilateral public policies and it also allowed me to find my passion of serving. This experience allowed me to follow Jesuit values throughout my career as a diplomat, to establish peace and expand its benefits worldwide.

The best advice I can give current students is to learn and keep their focus on their dreams. Loyola had a great and practical curriculum that helped me learn how to design, implement and evaluate public policies. Additionally, the university had a wide range of organizations and offered special events to network with local professionals. Finally, my last advice is to take advantage of the city where there are many opportunities to get connected, both with the public and private sector.

Potential students can find in Loyola three reasons for applying. First, because of its practical curriculum with a variety of classes from which to choose. The second reason is because it is a Jesuit University and provides space for values of social justice that will influence the way public policies are implemented and finally, because of the great location to study, Chicago.  Finally, for international students, consider the Jesuit network around the world as an asset to study in Loyola.