Name: Adele Costa
Hometown: East Northport, N.Y.
Degree Program: Master of Public Administration

Volunteer Activities/Service to the University:
Public Affairs Student Association (PASA) President
Center for Women in Government & Civil Society: 2017 Cohort’s Fundraising Chair
Graduate Assistant to Admissions, 2015-16

What are your post-graduation plans?
I’m a chosen Excelsior Service Fellow who hopes to get placed at a human services agency here in Albany to work on policy related to child welfare.

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time at Rockefeller?
Improving my quantitative analytical skills and ability to analyze large amounts of data. This is something I had no previous training in and there was a heck of a learning curve, but now I’m a better public servant and a better advocate.

Who was your most impactful mentor at Rockefeller?
I think it’s a tie between Pete Finn and Stephen Weinberg. Professor Finn taught me the single most useful skill I’ve ever learned – contract management and negotiation. Professor Weinberg re-taught me math in an hour and introduced me to a subject I truly love – economics.

What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those considering graduate school?
Get a degree that builds your transferrable competencies. Project management, basic algebra, how to write to an audience, public speaking, things like that. You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life – you just have to have a tool belt to do most things well.

Visit Rockefeller's 2017 Commencement website.

Visit the University at Albany's 2017 Commencement website.