“The fact that the professors not only taught the academics of city management, but also taught the reality of the profession, was a huge contribution to my success in the public affairs program.”
Home: Wylie, Texas
UT Dallas Degree: BS - Public Affairs, MS - Public Affairs
Profession: Management Analyst, City of Richardson
I work directly with the Richardson city management staff and assist in various capacities through the city manager’s office. In this position, I act as a liaison between the council members and city staff in resolving citizen issues that are submitted directly to the council members, co-chair the city’s United Way campaign, and manage various projects that come through the city manager’s office such as community programs, student internships and homeowners association communications.
I’m very active in professional organizations such as the Richardson Young Professionals and the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas (UMANT). I’m also a current member of Leadership Richardson through the Richardson Chamber of Commerce.
The Value of My Degree
Without my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, I wouldn’t be able to work in my current position. I flat out would not qualify for the job. In Texas, almost all professional positions within the city manager’s office require a master’s of public affairs (MPA) degree.
In addition, the MPA program challenged me to work with different types of people, communicate effectively, and manage my time between going to school and working. These experiences prepared me for the expectations of my current position and have allowed me to rise to the expectations set by city managers.
City managers work long hours and are required to work with a variety of people. The reality is that it can be a demanding profession; but it's one that I plan on dedicating the rest of my professional life to studying and progressing in as a servant leader.
My EPPS Success
The amazing professors who had real world experience in city management were very impactful. The fact that the professors not only taught the academics of city management, but also taught the reality of the profession was a huge contribution to my success in the public affairs program. Also, the fact that all of my classmates had a dedication to public service made me feel more comfortable, in that we were “all in this together.” My classes were very diverse in the backgrounds of students and in their interests in public service.
Advice for EPPS Students
My advice for EPPS students is to make your connections now. The applicant pool for public affairs careers is so large that any way you can make yourself stand out is a huge advantage when you start looking for that opportunity to get your foot in the door. And, don’t forget that your connection might be the student sitting right next to you in class.
In my free time, I love hiking and traveling with my boyfriend. I also love catching up with friends and going to see the newest movies in theaters.
Posted January 2013