Wrapping up the Semester (Part 2)

The spring semester for MPA students is always an exciting time. The first-year students are exploring different classes and searching for the perfect Professional Work Experience (PWE) while the second years are preparing their portfolio and applying for jobs. During the winter break before the busyness of the season ensues, I wanted to give the students some time to think about what they are excited about in the coming semester. Here are a few thoughts from current residential MPA students:

Hallee Haygood (3rd year, dual-degree student)
I cannot wait to start my local government career! Only one semester between me and the best job ever.

Laura Robinson (2nd year)
Next semester I am hopeful that I can hone in on professional opportunities for my time post-MPA. I would like to see my professional background in education mesh with an open position in Public Administration, whether that is in local government or the nonprofit sector. The MPA Portfolio, while stressful and overwhelming, can offer an opportunity to synthesize the ways in which the MPA program has allowed me to grow as a leader and public servant. This, I hope, will not only help prepare me for interviews, but will help me to enter a new position with confidence.

Nikki Abija (1st year)
I’m excited for my PWE! I’ll finally get to work in a field I’m very passionate about.

Mira Singhal (2nd year)
I am interested to learn more about how public leaders solve (or try to at least lessen) the wicked problems we face in our communities. COVID seems like the perfect example of a wicked problem for so many reasons. As we deal with a global pandemic, I want to see how our leaders at the local level still maintain services and resources for their residents.

Mallory Verez (1st year)
I’m looking forward to learning more about PWEs and the core of public administration work.

I am excited to work on my PWE. All my work experience is with the federal government and am excited to work with a local/state government or non-profit. I imagine budget management may be much more difficult when working with a smaller department.

Sally Moore (1st year)
I’m super excited for Organizational Theory! I’ve heard it’s a lot of reading, but the course material seems super interesting to me.

Francesco Tassi (1st Year)
I’m excited to learn more about the financial and budgeting aspects of local government (Professor Afonso’s class) and taking my first elective in the Public Policy Minor. I’m also considering a dual degree in City & Regional Planning. Overall, grateful for the numerous paths available when pursuing an MPA at UNC.

Taking the time now to really appreciate the opportunities that lie ahead is important, as there is a lot to look forward to next semester. For me, I’m excited for the job search. Finding a position that will welcome me as part of the team and encourage me to flourish is a thrilling experience. I’m ready to land a job that will challenge me in new ways and help me cultivate new skillsets. Attaining a job that is a perfect fit will be a fun adventure, and I will have my Carolina MPA experience to thank.