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Program: MPA, Nonprofit Management Emphasis
Undergraduate College and Major: English, SUNY University at Buffalo
Expected Graduation Date: December 2015
Current Occupation: Event Manager, Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation
How and why did you decide to apply for The College at Brockport MPA program?
I decided to apply for Brockport’s MPA program in fall 2012 after a four-year hiatus from my formal education. I had completed my undergraduate degree in three years, thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do after I earned that diploma. I was ready for the “real world.” Looking back, I don’t know why I was in such a hurry. So, I decided that when it came to my master’s degree, I’d make sure I thought it through and chose a program that would provide me with many choices for my future path. I had thought about an MBA, but ultimately decided on an MPA because I felt it would lead me to a career in which I can effect change and work for a good cause. I chose Brockport because it is the only public institution in the region that offers an MPA, I wanted in-class learning and I heard great things about the faculty.
What have you enjoyed most about the program so far?
I enjoy the thrill of noticing when course content and my first-hand experiences intermingle, resulting in a breakthrough moment of understanding, inspiration, or both, followed by a sense of empowerment. It was Dr. Faith Prather who reintroduced me to this learning process—I truly value the time I spent in her courses and have never met a professor who cares as much about her students’ learning and experiences.
What does your job entail?
Event Manager sounds pretty straightforward, but no matter where I go, I seem to enjoy complicating matters relating to the “job description.” I do plan and execute college tradition events such as Commencement, mainly focusing on event logistics which includes everything from securing a venue to contracting with vendors to orchestrating each aspect of a ceremony day-of. I also manage more than 100 event staff volunteers for Commencement. After I accomplish those tasks, I find myself doing all kinds of things I never thought I would do, but thoroughly enjoy. I am on a project team leading the campus transition to a new scheduling and event management software, and serve as the system administrator for the product. I have contributed to creating a new business process for reserving space on campus, developing training materials, and configuring the software to meet our needs.
What are your future goals?
That is the question everyone asks when I tell them I’m in a master’s degree program. My answer is always the same—I’m not sure yet, and I don’t want to commit to one goal or set of goals to the exclusion of all other possibilities, but I know it will prepare me for whatever opportunity comes my way next.