Degree & graduation year: Master of Public Policy & Administration, 2011
What I do: I work with towns in western Massachusetts to develop community development strategies, and apply for and manage Community Development Block Grants. These are competitive federal grants, administered by the Commonwealth. The grants are used in low-income neighborhoods to fund housing rehabilitation, infrastructure projects, and social services. Once we receive funding, I manage the various projects.
How I ended up working there: I had an internship at PVPC during my first year in graduate school, so I had a good connection there already. During my second year at SPP, I had an internship at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. Eventually that turned into a full-time job as a regional planner. I applied for the senior planner position at PVPC because of my interest in housing and community development.
The best part of my job: My colleagues, who genuinely care about doing something worthwhile in the world.
A recent exciting work experience: Recently our department received ten of eleven grants we applied for. This was the largest number of grants the department has ever received. It means a lot of our local towns will be getting funding to do some good, important work.
How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: A lot of my job is being a good communicator. This includes writing and speaking, things which SPP definitely prepared me for. I also have to recognize the Housing class I took with Carol Heim. It definitely got me interested in housing and community development.
Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: Take advantage of any internships you get. These are really valuable, even if they don’t automatically lead to a job.
Future plans: Currently my plan is to work at the Planning Commission and continue to get valuable funding for upcoming projects for our local communities in western Massachusetts.
Posted October 2018