SPAA BA Graduate Profile: Shane Fuller (BA'16, MPA'17)
Full Name: Shane Fuller
SPAA BA Graduation Year: 2016
SPAA MPA Graduation Year: 2017
Current Position: Program Manager, Newark Thrives!
Why did you choose the BA program at SPAA and what did you enjoy most about it?
I was advised by Dr. Herts to join the program because of my passion for youth work. Rather than solely teaching, I was able to learn best practices to create and run an organization that impacts youth positively.
What were some of your most meaningful experiences at SPAA?
One of my most meaningful experiences was creating opportunities for my peers to volunteer and connect with the Newark community through my nonprofit.
What choices did you make at SPAA that contributed to your career success / journey?
I started my nonprofit while in undergrad and it gave me years of experience to add to my resume and the ability to build relationships to secure job opportunities post graduation.
What was your first job after graduation and what other jobs did you have before your current position?
I got a job as a graduate assistant that paid for my master’s degree. I also worked at Newark Thrives! as the program manager.
What do you like about your current job and what do you find challenging? How does it relate to your degree?
I enjoy the autonomy and ability to make my schedule and connect with other community organizers. The challenges have been managing organizational growth and figuring out my role.
From your experience, what has been the value of having an undergraduate degree in public and nonprofit administration? How has the degree benefitted you?
I think that that the degree increased my network and access to the nonprofit sector in Newark, NJ as well as the Rutgers community.
Are there any other achievements or activities you would like to highlight?
Being part of the Rutgers 250 Film; 2017 Distinguished Alumni; teaching as a professor at SPAA in Spring 2020; and starting a nonprofit in 2013 called Them Cloud Kids.
What advice would you give to students and alumni interested in breaking into your industry?
Start while you are in school – do not wait until after you graduate to begin your career. Build and maintain genuine relationships with faculty and staff inside and outside of Rutgers University.