Graduate Profile: Dina Anello (MPA '17)

Hometown: Fort Lee, NJ
Degree program: Master of Public Administration
Concentration: Nonprofit Management

Why did you enroll at SPAA?
I enrolled at SPAA to further my career in higher education. I had been working for Rutgers Business School for about 5 years and realized that if I wanted to advance professionally, I would need a master's degree. Many of my colleagues went to SPAA for their MPA and loved the program so I knew it would be a great fit for me as well.  Also, I knew that SPAA’s MPA program has a great reputation in the industry so I decided to enroll and started in January of 2015.

What do you hope to accomplish with your degree?
With my MPA, I hope to make the transition from being a director to a leader. At this point in my career, it was the right time to take a big step professionally.

Best moments at Rutgers University-Newark?
My best moment at Rutgers University-Newark was my advanced study trip to London in May 2016. SPAA provided us with an invaluable opportunity to travel to London and study the upcoming Brexit vote in June of 2016. Thanks to our professor, Larry Goldman, we had the chance to meet with politicians, lobbyists and other business professionals with an inside track to how Londoners felt about Brexit. I had been to London as a tourist, but this opportunity was completely different in that I felt like I was actually living and working in London for a week. 

Favorite class(es) and professor(s)?
My favorite class was "Technology and Public Administration" with Dr. Alan Shark.  Even though the course was completely online, his lectures and anecdotal stories were so interesting and intriguing. I learned a tremendous amount from that class and given that technology impacts just about everything we do on a daily basis, I know the course material will come in handy.

My favorite professor was Rachel Emas. I had Dr. Emas for both "Statistics" and "Capstone" and by far, she challenged me more than any of my other professors.

Biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was taking "Statistics" in the summer of 2016 for six weeks.  I struggled with this class in my undergraduate program so I was already expecting it to be difficult. However, Professor Emas was outstanding and really put so much work into our class to make sure we had all of the tools we needed to be successful. Also, her rigorous teaching style made me work harder than I’ve ever worked before. It also taught me valuable lessons about myself, specifically, that I often knew the right answers but lacked the confidence to commit to my decision. That is something I’ve resolved to work on moving forward.

Next steps?
I’m pleased to say that I’ll be starting a new position where I will lead NJIT’s College of Computing’s alumni and corporate relations efforts.

Advice to incoming students?
I would recommend that incoming students get to know their professors and fellow classmates well. They are great sources of support, information and professional development. Overall, the entire MPA program including the professors, staff, and students created a very supportive and motivating environment. I really valued that aspect of my experience.

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