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Alumni Spotlight

julie glasier

Julie Glasier, MPP 2013
Program Officer, Presidential Management Fellow
U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Deputy Secretary

 

What are you doing now?

I am a Program Officer at the U.S. Department of Education in the Implementation and Support Unit (ISU), an office that supports comprehensive state-level education reforms.  As a Program Officer, I work closely with Race to the Top and Race to the Top - District grantees on implementing projects and contribute to other ISU initiatives such as the annual program review process. I am also a Presidential Management Fellow, a two-year program that recruits recent graduates to work in the federal government, which will give me the opportunity to do a 4-6 month rotation in federal government.

 

 How long have you been interested in public policy and/or urban affairs?

I first became interested in public policy during my undergraduate program. I majored in Secondary Education and had the opportunity to work in classrooms around the city of Chicago. I started researching root-causes and solutions for those disparities I saw first-hand and began to uncover connections to politics and policy. 

 
 

What courses did you find to be the most beneficial and helped prepare you for your current position?

I found the statistics courses to be incredibly helpful as they made me more confident in my ability to interpret research and utilize data. In addition, the Education Policy course I took with Dr. Meghan Condon in MUAPP provided me with extensive knowledge on key issues and policy debates in education, which I often use in my current job. 

 
What was your internship during the MUAPP Program?

I interned with the City of Chicago's Office of Legislative Counsel and Governmental Affairs in Washington, D.C. I helped develop a performance management system for Chicago's federal discretionary grants and monitored policy developments. 

What are the critical skills/tools for public policy practitioners entering the field?

I think public policy practioners must have the ability to communicate their ideas a clear and succinct way, both verbally and through writing. The ability to prioritize a workload of multiple, competing tasks and collaborate with teams are also important skills. I have also found flexibility to be an important quality in public policy field. Showing a willingness to engage in new projects when needed demonstrates a commitment to the goals of the organization and provides an opportunity to build new knowledge and skills.

How did you transition from graduating from the MUAPP Program to your current career role?

My strategy for looking for a job after graduation was to keep an open mind and even apply to positions outside of education that would help me strengthen my policy skills. When I learned about the Presidential Management Fellows program during my first year of MUAPP, I was also not certain I wanted to work at the federal level. However, I still applied and found a position that aligned with my interests and long-term career goals.

What is your fondest memory of graduate school at Loyola?

My fondest memory of graduate school is the time I spent with my classmates. Everyone was incredibly supportive and I loved their passion for making a difference in their policy areas of interest.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? And/or what do you see as public policy's challenges over the next 5-10 years?

My goal is to continue working in the education policy field, engaging with issues such as closing achievement gaps and boosting college completion. I also hope to gain experience in program and policy design, where I can use research and stakeholder input to develop effective solutions and systemic change.

 

How does the mission/vision (or strategic goals) of your organization match up with your personal career goals? 

It would be great to think about this question also in relation to characteristics of the classroom/university setting and experiences of working with other grad students (enrolled in MUAPP and when you took interdisciplinary courses from other departments) while you were in the MUAPP Program.

 

Emma Concannon 

Budget Analyst (Transportation & Infrastructure Unit, with focus on bridges & traffic)

New York City Office of Management & Budget

 

    How long have you been interested in public policy and/or urban affairs?

I got interested in public policy when I wanted to learn why some Chicago neighborhoods had recycling Blue Bins and others didn’t. To make a long story short, I was interested in the “why” behind it and everything else. And public policy is all the boring details we don’t think about. I love that stuff.

 

  What are you doing now?

I am in the bowels of local government. In the most straightforward questions… As a budget analyst in NYC’s Office of Management and Budget I make sure public money (public debt) is legit and being reasonably spent on capital infrastructure and transportation projects. I review bridges (over 700) and traffic capital projects for the Department of Transportation. But I am just scratching the surface; I don’t even know everything I need to know. Which is fun.

 

How would you describe the value of the MUAPP Program in relation to your job/PhD program?

I knew I wanted to go back to school to learn about public policy (was still a little hazy on what exactly that meant when I started). The program is the ideal mix of individualism and group support. If you take the time to develop relationships with your colleagues and professors, take risks, keep an open mind (not naturally inclined toward numbers, but I use those critical thinking and analytical skills everyday) you will learn more about yourself and what you want to do as a “practitioner.”

 

 What was your internship during the MUAPP Program and how did you receive assistance finding your internship placement? 

            I interned at the World Resource Institute in DC, an environmental, development think tank. It was an amazing experience where I got to work on environmental governance issues with our partners all over the world (i.e., working to strengthen marginalized communities’ political voice in local environmental issues and decisions). It was a really interesting tension between high-minded international policy and very grassroots work re environmental policy.

 

What are the critical skills/tools for public policy practitioners entering the field?

Critical thinking and curiosity. I think policy people have an interesting mix of intense analytical objectiveness and abundant passion. The program helped me focus that: learn and develop new tools for how to apply it. Each person has natural talents and the classes, discussions; people help you figure out where you fit in (am I more of a data cruncher or community advocate?). But seriously: get comfortable with data and excel, and write clearly, it means you know what you’re saying.

 

 How does the mission/vision (or strategic goals) of your organization match up with your personal career goals? 

 I love the nuts and bolts of of governance, literally you could say. OMB is a bunch of questioning, skeptical, analyze it five thousand different ways times nerds who love what we do. I love the being at that ground level where my community’s priorities are being weighted and prioritized. It works out quite nicely for me – interest wise – that NYC is recovering from a very expensive Sandy and we’re doing real ground level work regarding adapting climate change and building resiliency.

 

What is your fondest memory of graduate school at Loyola?

My classmates. I met some really awesome people in my program: smart, interesting, and a lot of fun.

 

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? And/or what do you see as public policy's challenges over the next 5-10 years?

Ugh, I hate this question. I don’t know. I hope I’ve moved up a bit, be a few levels above the details I am now, and blending my plotting and political inclinations with some real knowledge and experience about public finances and adaptability to back up whatever “recommendation” I’m giving. I have a lot to learn where I’m at first before I get there though.

 As for public policy’s challenges, too many to count probably. But… demonstrating its relevance to people is its fundamental challenge I think. If all other sides of society are ultimately going to flourish, if want to have dependability and trust, we need to invest in maintaining and innovating our systems (infrastructure, legal, social, etc.) to adapt to the challenges that will never stop being. 

 

 

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