Rock Career Prep: Janet Andrade
Janet Andrade, MPA ’20 is currently the Campus Director of the Albany Jewish Community Center. Learn more about her path and experience working, while completing her MPA.
What was one of the most meaningful experiences you had during your time in the MPA program?
Because I was a part-time student, I got to enjoy four wonderful years in the Rockefeller MPA program. I thoroughly enjoyed being challenged by coursework and the discussions with peers that often had different life experiences than my own. However, the most meaning experience I had wasn't a paper or project, rather it was the experience of becoming more confident in my own knowledge and skill sets.
Where did you complete your internship requirement and what knowledge, skills and abilities did you develop as a result of this experience?
My internship requirement was met through my work experience. I've worked in various nonprofit positions, mostly related to fundraising, for the past 15 years. Although I didn't have to do an internship, I found myself applying what I was learning each semester to my work at the time.
What specific skills or experiences through the program have prepared you for your transition to post-graduate employment?
The MPA program allowed me to develop many skills that I use in my everyday work life. I learned how to analyze policy options, making sure to assess the options from different viewpoints. This is important, because as a manager, I have to find the solution to problems that may not make all employees happy. But, if I can show that as a leader I'm considering all sides in my decision making, it will help to build trust with my team.
Where are you currently employed and what is the focus of your position?
I am the Campus Director of the Albany Jewish Community Center. My position is similar to a chief operating officer. I'm responsible for overseeing the entirety of daily operations of the organization. This includes everything from organizational budgeting and supervision of staff, to more mundane things like hiring a plumber when a pipe bursts. Right now most of my time is spent making sure the organization does all that it can to make it through the challenges of our current environment.
What advice do you have for students who are considering employment in the public sector and pursuing an MPA degree?
Go for it! If you are considering the MPA program, take the leap. You won't regret it. Whether you want to work in the public sector or nonprofit sector, the MPA will give you skills and tools to make you a more thoughtful and well-rounded manager. The current challenges we face in our society are going to be solved by people that have a diversity of skill sets, flexibility, and a willingness to challenge their own assumptions. At Rockefeller, you'll gain these skills that will help set you apart as a job candidate. As an added benefit of the program, you'll develop a large professional network composed of your peers, alumni, and professors. This network is invaluable when searching for a job, particularly during the uncertain economic time we are in.