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Hometown: Rudd, Iowa
Program: MPA, Public Management Emphasis
Undergraduate College and Major: Communications, English Concentration, Northwestern College
Expected Graduation Date: May, 2015
How and why did you decide to apply for The College at Brockport MPA program?
After working in the non-profit and public sectors for a few years after graduating from college, I decided to return to school to get a Master’s in Public Administration to better prepare myself for management-level positions. I had briefly considered pursuing an MBA, but since I am committed to a career in public service, the MPA made the most sense. The more I learned about the MPA program at SUNY Brockport, the more I knew it was the right program for me and what I wanted to do. The various emphases offered attract a number of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. This diverse pool of students provides unique perspectives that aid in teaching students how to be perceptive managers cognizant of the different issues that affect the workplace.
After completing my undergrad, I joined AmeriCorps and worked for a non-profit affordable housing agency in Denver, CO, conducting community outreach and coordinating public relations for statewide community development programs. From there, I worked for the Denver Housing Authority, a quasi-municipal organization that provides affordable housing to individuals in the Denver metro area. There, I supervised a team that provided resident programs to help individuals achieve self-sufficiency.
What have you enjoyed most about the program so far?
What I have appreciated the most about this program is the relevance of the course material to management in the public sector. Classes in Strategic Management, Financial Management, and Research & Program Evaluation equip managers with the tools to think strategically, manage efficiently, and evaluate programs effectively. From developing strategic plans to analyzing public budgets, students get hands-on experience in facets of management that are vital to the health and success of an organization.
What are your future goals?
I hope to remain in the nonprofit and public sectors providing affordable housing opportunities to individuals and their families. My goal is to manage a resident self-sufficiency program for a public housing authority in a large city. Eventually, I would like to work in the regional or national offices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development designing and evaluating federal affordable housing programs.
What advice do you have for future students?
Graduate study is rigorous and demanding—you must be sure that a master’s degree makes sense for you and your career and you must be willing to work hard. If you are looking for a program that pushes you to think critically, act strategically, and identify your strengths as a manager, SUNY Brockport’s MPA is the right program for you.