As I mentioned in my previous post, I am taking on a new role this year! I will be working with our very own Director of Admissions, Cara Robinson. This year, I will serve as the Admissions Research Assistant. This means that I get to post a lot more here and do other fun things to support the School of Government and the MPA program! I am really excited to continue sharing my experiences with you!
So for this blog post, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite things about an MPA degree (more specifically at UNC).
Our MPA program is awesome (which you will probably hear me say a lot!). Three of my favorite things about this program are the concentration options, opportunities for connections with Alumni, and the flexibility of how our degrees can serve us after graduation.
The MPA degree is a generalist degree, so I love that we have the opportunity to pick a more focused track for our educational career through concentrations. For on-campus students, the MPA program offers a concentration in local government, nonprofit management, public management, and community and economic development. For online students, the program offers concentrations for local government, nonprofit management, public management, international relations, and public health! They require that the student take a certain number of credit hours of electives related to the concentration. Once you have completed the requirements and receive your degree, then you are awarded a certificate at graduation. Concentrations allow us to do a deeper dive into a specialist frame of thought.
UNC-Chapel Hill is a well-known hub for MPA knowledge. The school has tons of connections! If you are interested in a specific type of work, there is someone on staff that knows someone who does that work. The staff is amazing at connecting students with alumni from the program with similar interests and career paths. The program also offers an alumni mentor program where new students are paired with alumni that have similar career goals/paths. Lastly, we have a staff person that can support our career goals. Allison Binkley is the Associate Director of Career Services. She does a lot of behind the scenes work to ensure that we can make the right connections to get on the right career path! Overall, I feel like this program works really hard to support students’ career goals through faculty and staff knowledge, alumni programming, and career support.
As I mentioned before, the MPA degree is pretty generalist. For me, that was a top-selling point! In true millennial fashion, purpose and flexibility are important to me when I think about my future working career. One of the things that I love about an MPA degree is that you can do many, many things. This degree sets you up to be a leader in various sectors. For example, you could be a grants manager, legislative analyst, public affairs director, community engagement manager, healthcare policy analyst, county/city manager, urban planning, consultant, or a foundation president. The career opportunities for leaders are endless!
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed my post! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.