Your Future

Graduates of the MPA program can choose from a wide spectrum of career paths.

Our alumni provide leadership to the world in government, international development, corporate social responsibility, social ventures, healthcare, education, and government relations. Students receive support and guidance from the Business Career Center and enter the workforce in exciting jobs on the fast track to management.

Andrea Bean

Andrea Bean

Background

Hometown

Fruit Heights, Utah

Previous Education

BS Journalism, Weber State University

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2010

Current Job

Contract Negotiator, United States Air Force

Hobbies and Interests

Traveling, sports (especially BYU football), movies, theater, reading, and spending time with friends and family.


My degree allows me to negotiate and develop contracts that save taxpayer money and meet the needs of my customers.
Impact on the World

My degree allows me to negotiate and develop contracts that save taxpayer money and meet the needs of my customers. I am responsible for purchasing supplies and services that support the warfighter and that are critical to our nation’s defense.

Teamwork Training

The MPA program’s focus on teamwork is an excellent preparation for a career in acquisition. Federal acquisition is a complex system that involves many people with different ideas and opinions. Knowing how to work on a team is critical to the success of the acquisition. I also really enjoyed the hands-on approach to learning used by the Romney Institute professors. We were provided with opportunities to complete real-world projects that reinforced the skills learned in class.

Practical Experience

My negotiation class provided me with the knowledge and training needed to represent the interests of the Air Force while negotiating with contractors. As part of the class, we participated in many exercises that allowed us to practice concepts and develop our negotiation skills. Conducting market research is an important aspect of my job, and the economics class provided a great framework on how to survey the market, anticipate trends, and interpret market data.

Jennifer Brito

Jennifer Brito

Background

Hometown

Gaithersburg, Maryland

Previous Education

BS Business Management, BYU

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2013

Current Job

Deputy Legislative Auditor, State of Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau

Hobbies and Interests

I love traveling and am now happy to be exploring my new home state of Nevada.


The BYU MPA program truly provides a world-class education. The inspirational leadership in the classroom and numerous assignments outside the classroom have given me the necessary tools to excel in my personal and professional life.
Why a BYU MPA?

Through the years I have had numerous opportunities to get a firsthand look at the inner workings of community programs, and I have realized the importance that such programs have within the community. I knew that I wanted to help, and I wanted to obtain a skillset that would allow me to do so on a larger scale. I was lucky enough to be accepted into the MPA program, and now I am trying to make my mark on the world.

Professors and Mentorship

The BYU MPA program truly provides a world-class education. The inspirational leadership in the classroom and numerous assignments outside the classroom have given me the necessary tools to excel in my personal and professional life. Something that I always keep in the back of my mind from my nonprofit classes is that I should not impose my ideas on a situation, but I should seek input from the people I am serving as to what their needs are and how those needs should be addressed.

Practical Skills

I believe that as an auditor I am using all the skills that the MPA program has given me. I am especially grateful for all the work done in qualitative decision analysis, organizational behavior, and program evaluation. There are so many other classes that have helped me to do well, and I can truly say that throughout my auditing tasks I have used things I’ve learned from each of them.

Amy Dalebout

Amy Dalebout

Background

Hometown

Aloha, Oregon

Previous Education

BA Communications, BYU

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2010

Current Job

FiscalNote, Operations Manager

Hobbies and Interests

Urban cycling, the great outdoors, reading, history, travel


I’ve done everything from helping elect new Ashoka Fellows, to recruiting top talent to the organization, to leading the country office in Canada. It has been both challenging and fulfilling.
Why a BYU MPA?

My interest in the public sector started in middle school, but I didn’t learn about the MPA degree until I was a university freshman. It was always an option in the back of my mind. When I grew increasingly interested in international development and the nonprofit space, it just made sense.

Impact on the World

Immediately after finishing my degree, I went to work for Ashoka, a highly regarded international NGO focused on creating an “Everyone a Changemaker” world. At Ashoka, I spent time in Indonesia, Canada, and Washington, DC, strengthening and representing the organization. I’ve done everything from helping elect new Ashoka Fellows, to recruiting top talent to the organization, to leading the country office in Canada. It has been both challenging and fulfilling. Now, I’m joining a tech start-up, FiscalNote, that is building legislative forecasting tools and making open data incredibly useful to any organization interested in the lobbying process. In a classic startup job, I’ll be doing a little bit of everything (except coding the product)!

Real Experience

Romney Institute professors care about you beyond just your classroom work—they care about your development as a person. In class they held us to high standards that suited us well in the workplace. Things I learned in Grantwell, the nonprofit core, and in decision analysis were valuable and useful on day one at Ashoka.

Matt Dustin

Matt Dustin

Background

Hometown

Bend, Oregon

Previous Education

BA Psychology and Political Science, University of Northern Colorado

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2009

Current Job

Municipal Finance Associate, RBC Capital Markets

Hobbies and Interests

Running, cycling, backpacking, traveling, reading, and spending time with family


The Romney Institute professors were instrumental in the development of my education and career goals and in helping me visualize the broad spectrum of opportunities that I could pursue with my degree.
Impact on the World

As a municipal finance associate at RBC Capital Markets, I play a key role in helping local and state governments raise money for their capital projects through the issuance of municipal bonds. My clients include general municipal governments, K-12 public schools, charter schools, higher education institutions, large transportation districts, special assessment and tax increment districts, public utility agencies, not-for-profit hospitals, and other 501(c)(3) organizations.

Professors and Mentorship

The Romney Institute professors were instrumental in the development of my education and career goals and in helping me visualize the broad spectrum of opportunities that I could pursue with my degree. The coursework was balanced between practical and theoretical skill development, and I found the professors very accessible. One of my favorite experiences was taking an evening class from Richard Ellis, currently the Utah state treasurer and at the time an adjunct professor in the program. His real-world experience in the world of government finance was what drove me, in part, to pursue a career in public finance investment banking.

Alumni Network

I utilized the alumni network extensively when I was looking for internships in the summer of 2008, and I was successful in securing several unique and challenging opportunities. I ended up choosing the internship at the Utah legislature working as a research assistant for the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel. I learned a lot about the legislative process, and my experience and connections there helped me land my first full-time job after graduation.

Lindsay Johnson

Lindsay Johnson

Background

Hometown

Huntington Beach, California

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2010

Previous Education

BA Humanities, BYU

Current Position

Program Manager, Partnership for Public Service

Hobbies

Cooking, biking, camping, and finding good deals at thrift stores/garage sales


I’m immersed in the challenges and opportunities of the public sector, and I feel like I’m having a small but mighty influence on the offices and federal leaders that I work with.
Why a BYU MPA?

I wanted to do a master’s degree in leadership or management, but I didn’t feel like I fit the MBA mold. A friend of mine told me about an MPA info session, so I attended. While sitting in that seventh floor room of the Tanner Building, I thought, “These are my people!” I knew that I needed to apply and loved the idea of management with the purpose of serving the public.

Impact on the World

The MPA degree helped me apply my interest in influencing the world. I currently work in a consulting role with the federal government and use my MPA degree daily. I’m immersed in the challenges and opportunities of the public sector, and I feel like I’m having a small but mighty influence on the offices and federal leaders that I work with. I help them see management from a different perspective, and that is awesome.

Alumni Network and Support

I’m at my current job because of a fellow alumnus of the MPA program. I honestly feel that the best product that came out of the MPA program for me was the network and friendships I gained. In my next position I plan to go to MPA alumni first for direction and guidance.

Ariel Lara

Ariel Lara

Profile Background

Hometown

Oruro, Bolivia

Previous Education

BA Political Science, BYU

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2010

Current Job

Telecommunications/Contract Specialist, U.S. General Services Administration

Hobbies and Interests

Sports, especially soccer, and restoring classic cars


The BYU MPA degree opened a new dimension of learning and professional opportunities and experiences for me.
Why a BYU MPA?

Growing up in Bolivia where there is so much unfairness, I wanted to help by working in the government. Public service is an area where one can have a positive effect. The BYU MPA degree opened a new dimension of learning and professional opportunities and experiences for me.

Professors and Mentorship

The professors at the Romney Institute helped me to become more analytical. They exposed me to experiences where one can make decisions, work as a team, and take on objective approaches to solve issues. They also were exemplary in their ethical work and honest way of conducting themselves.

Practical Experience

My internship in Ecuador helped me to work on a team with individuals that I did not know, yet we were able to perform at a high level with great results. We were able to have an impact on the lives of natives in Ecuador. Later, I also had an internship with the US Department of Energy where I was exposed to a workload similar to the one I currently have.

Susie Leighton

Susie Leighton

Background

Hometown

Augusta, Maine

Previous Education

BA French, BYU

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2011

Current Job

Project Manager, National Administration, Teach for America

Hobbies and Interests

Long-distance running, yoga, cycling, reading, theatre, and food


For me, working with nonprofits and working for a cause I believe in is what speaks to my true self. Getting an MPA helped me get there.
Why a BYU MPA?

I figure that if I’m going to spend a significant part of my life working, I should do something I find meaningful. My idea of the work and personal-life boundary is really fuzzy—I believe that the work you do should be an extension of who you are. For me, working with nonprofits and working for a cause I believe in is what speaks to my true self. Getting an MPA helped me get there.

Alumni Network

It’s incredible how easy it is to connect with someone through the alumni network. I’ve loved staying connected to my classmates, but I have also used the network to learn about new opportunities. I’ve even been contacted through the network to help others in their job hunt. It’s a great feeling knowing that you already have a built-in network.

Real Experience

The MPA program gave me real experience and allowed me to put into practice the things I was learning in the classroom. There were some great successes, as well as some failures, and each experience was a learning opportunity that boosted my confidence when I got into the workforce. One of the best classes was organizational behavior—Who doesn’t need help learning to work through tricky team dynamics? Another would be negotiations—I use it every day, both in my personal life and work life, and I now work with our managing director of procurement to facilitate working sessions on negotiations for staff. We love it!

Brett Noble

Brett Noble

Profile Background

Hometown

Muncie, Indiana

Previous Education

BS Exercise Science, BYU

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2013

Current Job

Auditor Evaluator II, California State Auditor

Hobbies and Interests

Tennis, softball, basketball, cycling, traveling abroad and international affairs


Due to the team-focused nature of the MPA program, I was given numerous opportunities to work on assignments and projects with teams both in required classes and through the Grantwell program.
Impact on the World

Since graduating last year I have been working in the California State Auditor’s Office. I believe that my work and the work that is performed there is essential for improving government. The audits we perform increase the accountability of government to the public and assist government entities in identifying areas where they can increase their effectiveness and efficiency.

Professors and Mentorship

Coming from an undergrad background that had very little in common with public management, the faculty at the Romney Institute provided me with essential skills and valuable career guidance as I prepared myself to enter the workforce. During the course of the MPA program they became friends and mentors. I use skills that I learned from them on a daily basis in my current job.

Teamwork Training

Due to the team-focused nature of the MPA program, I was given numerous opportunities to work on assignments and projects with teams both in required classes and through the Grantwell program. Learning to work with others is essential to my current job where every project and assignment I receive is part of a larger team effort.

Corey Riley

Corey Riley

Profile Background

Hometown

Austin, Texas

Previous Education

Nutritional Science, BYU

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2011

Current Job

HR Business Partner, Esri

Hobbies and Interests

Hanging out with family and friends, movies, college basketball and football, hanging out at the beach


I wanted to get an MPA because I wanted to learn the skills to be an HR professional in both the public and private sectors. My degree has prepared me to do both.
Why a BYU MPA?

I wanted to get an MPA because I wanted to learn the skills to be an HR professional in both the public and private sectors. My degree has prepared me to do both. All of my HR classes, especially the HR law class, help me in my career. The business writing class also helps me every single day as I compose e-mails and prepare PowerPoint presentations.

Impact on the World

I support client groups by helping them manage their workforce on the subjects of compensation, training and development, and recruiting.

Professors and Mentorship

My BYU professors gave me the skills to contribute on day one of my career, including writing in the business setting and operating Microsoft Excel. My HR classes taught me how to look at various tricky situations and get through them by using sound HR professional principles and obeying the law.

Lynsey Spence

Lynsey Spence

Background

Hometown

Hurricane, West Virginia

Previous Education

BA International Studies, West Virginia University

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2013

Current Job

Administrator in Training, Central Utah Clinic

Hobbies and Interests

Films, temple work, reading, all things British, traveling, knitting, going to Comic Con


The alumni network of the Romney Institute helped me to see just how successful MPA graduates could be and helped me see what I could become.
Why a BYU MPA?

My goal in life is to make a difference in the world by helping others in any way possible. I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while completing my undergraduate degree. After completing my degree in international relations, I wanted to expand my knowledge of how to make a difference through public service. As I was looking for a graduate program that would best help me to grow as needed to serve others, I came across the BYU MPA program. I am so glad that I did!

Practical Skills

The MPA program was such a hands-on program! Each class had some way to apply the learned skill in a real-life setting. By the time I graduated I had a huge portfolio of projects for real companies, which is not only a great résumé booster but also a morale booster! Each class helped me to shape myself into a public service leader. In one work day I may use skills learned from a variety of MPA classes, from the Excel skills I learned in quantitative decision analysis to supervisory skills from the HR course, and the tools to make tough decisions using concepts discussed in my ethics course. Each class in the MPA program helped shape me into the leader that I am today.

Alumni Network

The alumni network of the Romney Institute helped me to see just how successful MPA graduates could be and helped me see what I could become. I heard of my current position from a BYU MPA alum, and I am glad that I did! The alumni network is a great resource for not only learning about jobs and opportunities, but also for gaining mentors and friends.

Jackie Saumweber

Jackie Saumweber

Background

Hometown

Bentonville, Arkansas

Year of Graduation from MPA program

2014

Current Job

Sustainability Manager, Walmart

Previous Education

BS Public Health, BYU

Hobbies and Interests

Scuba diving, running, sailing, and cooking


I felt a BYU MPA was the best program to provide these skills while being surrounded by other people that wanted to use their talents to change the world…and I was right!
Impact on the World

Currently, I work on Walmart’s sustainability team as a manager of healthy living programs. I collaborate with internal and external business partners, NGOs, and government agencies to deliver on Walmart’s various healthy living commitments, including reformulating foods and increasing affordability and access to healthy foods. I also develop strategy for future goals and commitments.

Why a BYU MPA?

During and after my undergraduate program in public health, I spent several months working for nongovernmental organizations, local governments, and clinics in Africa. My experiences there taught me that creating social change takes more than just passion. It takes the ability to work with and organize people, the ability to acquire and manage resources, and the ability to focus on details while forming long-term strategic goals. I felt a BYU MPA was the best program to provide these skills while being surrounded by other people that wanted to use their talents to change the world…and I was right!

Practical Skills

I think I have used at least one skill from every class I took in the program, but the skills I have found most useful so far are the ones I gained from communications and organizational behavior classes, such as managing relationships, creating and using agendas, motivating and supporting colleagues, communicating clearly, and so on. I am also incredibly grateful for the Excel and PowerPoint skills I learned in the program. I spend significant amounts of time every single day working in these programs, and the ability to create documents quickly that are clear and visually appealing is a very quick way to make an impression!

Robert Christensen

Robert Christensen

Profile Background

Hometown

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Other Education

BA Russian, BYU; PhD Public Affairs, Indiana University

Year of Graduation from MPA Program

2000 (JD/MPA)

Hobbies and Interests

Bragging about my daughters, travel, photography, food


I found that I could pursue an MPA while working on my JD, and that made all the difference. I loved learning about the values and skills required in public service.
Why a BYU MPA?

I was in law school and having a discouraging first-year experience. Then I found that I could pursue an MPA while working on my JD, and that made all the difference. I loved learning about the values and skills required in public service. It helped me not only make sense of the law but also articulate a real interest in public sector organizations and employees. I came to view the law as policy that requires diligent public servants in order to be implemented, interpreted, and evaluated.

Professors and Mentorship

Romney Institute professors took the time to get to know me. They nurtured a desire to conduct research and further my education. During my last year of MPA studies, I had lots of questions about what a PhD program would require. My professors not only answered my questions but also gave me confidence that I could tackle a PhD.

Practical Experience

My MPA internship at the Orem City Attorney’s Office gave me invaluable exposure to the positive impact and challenges of government work. Courses in data analysis gave me the skills to begin systematically investigating these challenges. That fueled a broader interest in doctoral work, and today I love the challenge of researching and teaching in a field about which I care deeply.