University at Albany

Samantha Baldock, MPA '14

Hometown: Reno, NV

Current position: NYS Excelsior Service Fellow
Empire State Development
New York, NY

Received job offer: I received my job offer four months before graduation.

"In applying to Public Administration programs I looked at schools that spanned the coast from New York to Georgia, and ultimately decided that Rockefeller College was the "best fit" for me.  The overall program ranking, in addition to the rankings of the Public Finance and Nonprofit Management concentrations, is what initially drew me in. However, the more I learned about the program, the more I realized that there were a multitude of reasons why Rockefeller was the right choice for me. The specific curriculum within each of my desired concentrations, as well as the affordability of the education, and the strategic location for both internships and networking solidified my decision.

Moving to Albany, NY and attending Rockefeller College has significantly impacted my career path.  Living in a capital city for the first time opened my eyes to the inter-connectivity of the nonprofit and public sectors. Having the opportunity to intern at the New York State Division of Budget began to inform my understanding of the public policy process in New York.  This understanding was further developed in my last semester as a Fellow on Women and Public Policy through the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society.  As a Fellow, we took courses in public policy and leadership, in addition to having the opportunity to meet incredible leaders in both state government and nonprofits throughout New York. I believe that it was this experience, and my previous courses through Rockefeller, that solidified my interest in state government. 

The ability to network with the cohort, professors, and staff has been one of the most beneficial aspects of earning my MPA from Rockefeller College.  As a graduate assistant, I was fortunate to interact with professors and staff on a regular basis. Building these relationships has led to the development of a number of advisors and mentors.  Whether it be answering off-the-cuff questions related to the public and nonprofit sectors, keeping up-to-date with New York State politics and policies, or asking internship-related questions, these individuals have helped develop my skill set and knowledge both inside and outside of the classroom. "