Carly Kirkman is a member of Marist's online MPA Class of 2017. She received a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Stetson University and is currently a Youth Development Worker for Arbor Youth Services.
Tell us about your work history before Marist, including years of experience, industry, companies, and positions.
After I graduated from Stetson, I served 2 years of public service with a branch of AmeriCorps called City Year where I was a tutor, mentor, and role model at a Title I middle school. Marist has an academic partnership with City Year and that is how I came to apply to the Marist MPA program.
What are your career goals?
During my time with AmeriCorps, I quickly fell in love with education and non-profit work. My goal is to contribute to our national society through public service, and I plan on achieving this through working with the YMCA and its childhood education program.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Marist?
I chose Marist because it is in the top ten in the nation for my program of choice, but more than that, I am able to complete my degree 100% online. My dedication to public service and willingness to go where I’m most needed means that I don’t always know where I’ll end up or when. Marist’s online program gives me the freedom to chase my dreams across the country without stalling my education. It’s like having my cake and eating it too.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development.
I recently took a program evaluation course that has really stuck with me. I was actually able to design an evaluation for the specific AmeriCorps program that I had served with. It instilled in me that you can feel like you’re doing good and making changes as much as you want, but you need cold hard data to really see how much of an effect you are making. This class taught me not only how to measure the efficiency of a program, but also how to find which areas of the program need improving. This is so important to me because I am always looking for the best way to do the most good, and Marist showed me better ways to do that.
How has a degree from Marist and your course work enhanced your career?
A degree from Marist has enhanced my career because it has shown my employer that I have committed to this field, that I care about the quality of my education, and that I am willing to work hard in order to better myself.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their master’s degree at Marist?
I would say go for it! The MPA graduate program at Marist is top notch and you won’t find better professors anywhere.
If you took an online class or had online learning as part of a regular course, tell us about your experiences – any tips or suggestions to pass along to future students?
I love the online classes at Marist! It allows me to go at my own pace and to study freely around my hectic work schedule. My suggestion to future online students is to never hesitate to contact your professors; they are more than willing to help you in any way that they can.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Graduate Student
Major: MPA - Public Administration
Academic School: Management