Name: Robert Spendlove
Current Employer: Zions Bank and Utah Legislature
Job Title: Zions Bank - Economic and Public Policy Officer
Utah Legislature - State Representative
Year of Graduation: 2004
How has obtaining an MPA degree from the University of Utah helped you in your career? My MPA degree from the University of Utah was an essential part of my career success. It gave me the perspective and insight to understand the implications of public policy choices on federal, state, and local governments, as well as on those outside of government.
What skills learned from your classes, or courses in general, were most important in your career development? Overall, the most important skills I learned was to always consider all sides of issues being discussed by policy makers. Government actions affect many people and must be carefully studied before implementation. I also learned about the fundamental differences between the for-profit business world and the environment in which nonprofit and government entities operate. In order to be successful in the arena of public administration it is essential to understand the different roles of government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations.
What advice would you give to incoming students? Begin with the end in mind. Understand why you want an advanced degree and what you want to do with it. However, also be willing to be flexible when necessary. Opportunities don’t always fit into preconceived plans. When these opportunities come up, jump on them and take advantage of them!
Name: Nichol Bordeaux
Current Employer: Utah Transit Authority
Job Title: Manager of Local Government Relations and Programs
"My favorite MPA class was the Policy Analysis course. Professor Lina Svedin challenged the class to dissect complex policy issues in order to gain practical experience in presenting these issues to decision-making leadership. The experience gained in this particular class has helped my career immensely. Since graduating from the program, I have moved to positions where I have had to present complex issues to leadership in a succinct manner. I credit any success in my presentations to the Policy Analysis course."