In Full Swing

The following post was contributed by second year SIPA student Richard Parker.  Richard is working in our office this year and he, along with several other students, will be contributing posts throughout the year. One item of note to consider when reading the following entry is that recent changes to the curriculum have made a capstone workshop mandatory for all SIPA students.


It has been extremely busy this semester. Classes are definitely in full swing!!!  October was a busy month and  between working in the Admissions/Financial Aid Office and midterms, I barely had time to write this entry. However, there were some moments of levity one of which was my 27th birthday and the SIPASA Halloween Party which is always a good time.  So I have had some time between all my various assignments to take a proverbial breather.

This month I also began my job hunt.  I figure it’s never too early to start. In that regard the Office of Career Services (OCS) has been my new stomping grounds. I went there more than a handful of times to get advice on how to strengthen my resume and cover letter as well as to get advice on how to best start my job search. They are very helpful over there and I feel more confident now than I did before. I guess I should get the office some cookies or popcorn for Christmas huh?

We just came off of our fall break and I took that time to go to Washington D.C. and hangout with my buddies and talk to a few of my mentors. That break was definitely needed and I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I’m also looking forward to finding out if I get accepted into a capstone workshop. Capstones are mandatory for MPA’s and optional for certain MIA concentrators (I’m a MIA) but  I am hoping that I get accepted into one (hint hint professors).

Workshops apply the practical skills and analytical knowledge learned at SIPA to a real-world issue. Students are organized into small consulting teams and assigned a substantive, policy-oriented project with an external client. This will definitely augment my overall SIPA experience by providing me with valuable experience and contacts for post-graduate employment. I’ll let you know next month what the outcome is!