SPAA BA Graduate Profile: Samantha Washington (BA'15, MPA'17)
Full Name: Samantha Washington
SPAA BA Graduation Year: 2015
SPAA MPA Graduation Year: 2017
Current Position: Constituent Services Assistant, Congressman Donald Payne Jr., U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 10th congressional district
Why did you choose the BA program at SPAA, and what did you enjoy most about it?
I picked the BA program in public and nonprofit administration at SPAA because I wanted to learn more about public service and be an engaged citizen after my service in the Navy.
What were some of your most meaningful experiences at SPAA?
Some of most memorable experiences at SPAA were meeting and connecting with my SPAA family and building a great network. My other favorite experience was teaching the Technology and Public Administration course when I had completed my MPA.
What choices did you make at SPAA that contributed to your career success / journey?
A choice I made at SPAA that contributed to my career success was to intern at Congressman Payne Jr.'s office.
What was your first job after graduation, and what other jobs did you have before your current position?
My job after graduation is working for Congressman Payne Jr. and being a PTL for SPAA since Spring 2015. Jobs I had before SPAA were serving in the Navy and being a paraprofessional at a junior high school.
What do you like about your current job, and what do you find challenging? How does it relate to your degree?
What I like most about my current job is the ability to help people navigate federal agencies and helping to bring resources to those who need it.
From your experience, what has been the value of having an undergraduate degree in public and nonprofit administration? How has the degree benefitted you?
The value of having a BA in public and nonprofit administration is that it helped position me for my job working for Congressman Payne Jr.
What advice would you give to students and alumni interested in breaking into your industry?
The advice I would give to students and alumni interested in working for the House of Representatives is to be intentional about where you intern and network. Always work on building your network in school and in your professional life.