Rock Career Prep: Trudy Morgan
Trudy Morgan, BA ’17, MPA ’19 is currently the Policy Coordinator at the New York State Network for Youth Success. Learn more about how her fellowship and internship experiences helped prepare her for a career in the public sector.
What was one of the most meaningful experiences you had during your time in the MPA program?
Participating in Fellowship on Women and Public Policy was one of the most meaningful experiences I had as an MPA candidate. In six months, this fellowship exposed me to a diversity of resources, including knowledge, skills, and a network of mentorship and support that would have taken years to gain. This fellowship also helped me narrow down what aspect of public service I was interested in, as well as what issues were salient for me as I pursued my career trajectory. I also found amazing, long-lasting friends through this fellowship.
Where did you complete your internship requirement and what knowledge, skills and abilities did you develop as a result of this experience?
I pursued two wonderful opportunities to meet my internship requirements at Rockefeller. My first internship was through a Brown University fellowship where I worked as a coordinator for Generation Citizen, an action-civics, nonprofit organization. My role involved coordination, constant resource sharing, relationship building, mediation, and partnerships. Here, I was able to learn and adapt systems (Google Suite, Salesforce and Weebly) to better respond to the needs of the stakeholders I was working with. I also worked as a Special Projects Assistant at the Office of Academic Programs, Planning, and Assessment at SUNY System Administration. There, I conducted preliminary reviews of program proposals and revised the program proposal guide for the office. This internship greatly improved my communication and presentation skills, as my role required regular correspondence with several provosts.
What specific skills or experiences through the program have prepared you for your transition to post-graduate employment?
Introduction to memo writing through our PAD 507 course has been very relevant in my work and is the go-to outline I use to develop succinct, cohesive policy materials. The components of teamwork that are embedded in the MPA program greatly prepared me for the real world experience where collaboration and coordination to meet priorities and project objectives are almost a given. Also, our robust Career Services office was instrumental in helping me define and navigate my career path by providing informative and useful guidance and advice throughout my MPA experience. Finally, the culminating portfolio project Rockefeller MPA students create as part of the capstone experience was not only a great way to reflect on my contributions and lessons learnt during the MPA experience, but also useful to develop a more robust resume that made me more confident when speaking with employers.
Where are you currently employed and what is the focus of your position?
I am currently the Policy Coordinator at the New York State Network for Youth Success, a statewide, nonprofit organization that seeks to strengthen the capacity and commitment of communities, programs, and professionals to increase access to high-quality programs and services beyond the traditional classroom. I am involved in statewide and national advocacy and policy efforts to increase funding for expanded learning opportunities and also provide support in addressing regulatory and programmatic concerns through coalition efforts, grassroot advocacy, and legislation.
What advice do you have for students who are considering employment in the public sector and pursuing an MPA degree?
For those pursuing the MPA degree, maximize your experience and time in the MPA program by taking advantage of all the resources, networks, volunteer and internship opportunities you are presented. I also found that fellow MPA candidates are very important networks to connect with and keep, as Rockefeller attracts people from all walks of life with different levels of interests, expertise, and experience.
For those considering employment, during this unprecedented time, it is perhaps more important than ever to update and bolster online resumes (LinkedIn, Handshake, and other online platforms) as employers continue to look at these platforms to recruit individuals for full-time employment, volunteer opportunities, and internships.