The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Samuel Hockenbury

Sam Hockenbury smiling
Finance/Purchasing Analyst
Town of Burlington, Massachusetts

Degree & graduation year: Master of Public Policy and Administration, 2022

What I do: I assist the town's Budget Director with fiscal operations. This covers a wide variety of responsibilities including fiscal year planning, energy bill tracking, RFPs, and insurance claims for the town. 

How I ended up working there: I knew I wanted to work at the municipal level so sought out those roles specifically. Utilizing the Massachusetts Municipal Association's job board, I found and applied directly with the Town of Burlington.  

The best part of my job: I'm doing something that fits my skill set well and I can see growth in the future.

A recent exciting work experience: Getting to be a part of town meetings has been an exciting aspect of the role. Even the day-to-day work, like field bids to resurface basketball courts feels meaningful and useful.  

How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do as a career. SPP helped me reset and feel reinvigorated.

Because SPP is career-focused, I was able to hone my resume and interview skills to land the job I found.

Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: There are so many areas of study to get involved in. There are a lot of ways to go about it.

Future plans: Working at the municipal level has been satisfying and I hope to find progressive roles at the local level.