What department are you a graduate student in?
I am currently working on getting MPA and going into my fourth semester as a part time student.
Why did you decide to go to graduate school?
I have worked in child welfare case management for the last 17 years and had always used the excuse that I didn’t need my masters degree to grow in the field. This is true up to a point. I was a Program Director and realized that if I wanted to continue to grow I would need my masters degree. I looked into various masters programs and was comparing the MBA and MPA program. I chose to the MPA program as it explores so many different areas that interested me. I am very glad I did because I have learned so much from about the different aspects of public administration opening my eyes to different areas outside of just child welfare.
Did your interests change throughout your program?
Yes my interests initially were to focus on nonprofit management as I worked for nonprofit organizations for 22 years and wanted to continue to grow. When I moved to Tallahassee to be closer to family I was offered a job at DCF Headquarters which has been a great experience getting to see things from the public program perspective. Additionally, I really enjoyed Dr. Banners Policy Development and Administration class which peaked my interests in public policy. The MPA program here at FSU really does give you a well-rounded look into all aspects of public administration. I have found myself being pulled into public program service as I believe I can have more of an effect on policy development in child welfare.
What do you want to do with your advanced degree?
There are so many great opportunities out there by having your MPA degree. DCF is a great organization who are focused on providing the best services to the population we serve and I hope to continue to grow throughout the program.
Courtnay Murphy is a Masters student in the Department of Public Administration at FSU. You can learn more about Courtnay here.