Frank Magneri
BA Political Science ’16
Master of Public Administration ‘17


Q: Why did you choose to attend UAlbany and what made you decide to stay here for your MPA?
A: I chose to attend UAlbany because of its proximity to the New York State capital – I knew I wanted to pursue a career related to the public sector at some level. When I started here, I thought an economics degree was the way to go. However, I quickly realized that an MPA degree would better enable me to meet my goals.  Plain and simple, I wanted to pursue the next level of education that would help me build upon the skills UAlbany gave me as an undergrad. In my opinion, public administration gives its students a fine balance of analytic and discussion skills. What good is data if you cannot write about your findings, or if you cannot display your ideas in a manner that people can understand? Rockefeller College was filled with people who were dedicated to helping me, which is difficult to find in a large school like UAlbany. The MPA program at Rockefeller was the obvious choice. 

Q: How have your Rockefeller classes and experiences outside of the classroom impacted your career goals?
A: The skills I gained from my courses are invaluable to me.  When I receive a project at work, I am not worried about my ability to complete an assignment, or about meeting deadlines. The coursework at Rockefeller allowed me to become comfortable with presenting results in a comprehensive and understandable way. In addition, I always feel welcome to engage with my professors and classmates both inside and outside the classroom. I am always interested to hear about someone’s latest project and to learn about their work experience. For example, I knew I wanted to work at the Division of the Budget after talking to other students who had interned there. Now, as a full-time employee, I am equally happy to share my experiences with others or talk about policy issues so I can hear the perspectives of people who work in different areas. Then, there is the professional network that just comes with being a Rockefeller student. People in Albany know Rockefeller because they have either gone here or work with people who have, and they regard it highly. It continues to allow me to connect with other professionals and expand my network.  

I also had a wonderful experience at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, which made me realize that I want to tackle public policy issues internationally. I enjoyed the diversity of the university and meeting other exchange students from around the world, and the interesting policy discussions that we had because of our unique perspectives. Living in another country challenges you in a way that coursework alone does not. I learned how to operate and learn in an environment I was not used to. But most importantly, I learned that I thrive and enjoy situations where I am outside of my comfort zone. I learned a lot about myself and what I can accomplish, and I think about the time I spent in Italy every day.  

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time at Rockefeller?
A: The fact that I have been able to be mobile and work and live in a variety of places makes me the most proud. On top on my experiences at Bocconi University, this past summer I worked at the consulting firm PFM in Philadelphia. I worked on economic development projects for multiple cities and lived with five University of Pennsylvania students a stone’s throw away from the campus, which allowed me to experience a new university culture. The perspective I gained from these experiences is precious to me. Seeing how people with different experiences view things has expanded my capacity to understand issues and be creative in the public sector.  

Q: What are your post-graduation plans?
A: I am currently employed at the New York State Division of the Budget and serve as a “quasi consultant” for local government via the Financial Restructuring Board. So, my plan for now is to stay in Albany and continue to work on helping municipalities in New York State.  

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 Rockefeller College News Magazine.

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