University at Albany

Q & A With John Konior, MPA ‘01
Assistant to the City Manager, Urbandale Iowa

Why did you choose Rockefeller?

John: There is so much to factor when choosing a school, such as location, ranking, faculty, future opportunity, diversity and personal fit. Rockefeller had them all for me. It is located in the State’s capital; its faculty is leaders in their fields; it provides opportunities with internships; but it was the sense of community for me that led me to choose Rockefeller College. I’m glad I did. I made great friendships with others who share my passion to help make the world a better place, either globally or one-person at a time.

What about working in policy analytic field inspires/excites you?

John: I’m excited to take a challenge, break it down, solicit a diverse feedback, take those ideas and then lead a team to implement policy change. In my position each day brings something new and I get to work across all departments of the City I work for. My favorite quote I use at work is by George Bernard Show, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man”. I especially use it when the first statement to a challenge I hear is “we have always done it that way.” I say let’s all be unreasonable now and again.

If you had to condense your job description into an elevator pitch, how would it read?

John: As the Assistant to the City Manager, it is my responsibility to critically analyze a situation. I then lead teams to deliver high quality services to both the residents of my community and its employees. This includes policy research and guidance, best practice implementation and a focus on exceptional customer service.

How did Rockefeller College prepare you for your career?

John: I believe education is so much more than learning. It is being challenged, learning to discover new things never thought of before and finding a way to put your ideas into practice. Rockefeller College has faculty that share their insights and knowledge. The curriculum challenged me to expand my public policy focus and provided insights into focus areas I might not have thought about initially. In addition, Rockefeller’s strong history of internships and its location within the State’s capital provided opportunities to explore different job sectors. 

What’s your favorite Rockefeller memory?

John: There are many great memories from my time at Rockefeller College. One or two in particular were student/faculty PASA (Public Affairs Student Association) softball games outside of Milne Hall and heated discussions during my professional applications courses on a cold Saturday morning.