SPAA Graduate Profile: Rosslin Mensah-Boateng (MPA'22)
Name: Rosslin Mensah-Boateng
Hometown: Newark, NJ
Degree Program: Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Graduation Month/Year: January 2022
Why did you enroll at SPAA?
I enrolled at SPAA because it is recognized for its diverse student population, professors, and courses. It was important for me to be close to work and to be able to quickly walk to class after work. I started working on my degree in 2019, working full-time in a nonprofit organization as an administrative coordinator and studying part-time.
What do you hope to accomplish with your degree?
With my degree, I hope to elevate my career in managerial, programming, operational management, or development positions, either in the public or private sectors. I have started my career in administrative and programmatic support, but I am ready for the next level, and I can implement the specific skills and experiences from school and work to become successful.
Favorite SPAA memory?
My favorite SPAA memory is being a SPAA Student Ambassador. I joined the inaugural cohort during the 2020-2021 academic school year, and served as the chair of the focus group sub-committee. My fellow sub-committee members and I synthesized survey results from students and created an analytical report to present to the SPAA staff and faculty. This was my second year as an ambassador, and I served as the program coordinator for the 2021-2022 academic school year, which was a new leadership opportunity within the program. As the program coordinator, I met with the ambassadors and sub-committees and worked with feedback on successes, challenges, and recommendations from the previous cohort. I helped with planning and organizing programs and events, and served as a liaison to the ambassadors while working with the director of public engagement at SPAA.
My biggest challenge was the switch from in-person learning to virtual learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. I had only completed one semester by the beginning of January 2020, and I finished the rest of my degree online. Although I missed being able to have in-person dialogues with my classmates and professors, my professors were accommodating and provided additional support with online office hours and optional class debriefing sessions to discuss assignments and challenges we were facing with online learning and everything else due to the pandemic.
Advice to incoming students?
My advice to incoming students is to be involved in something in school, outside of your coursework. My graduating class and future classes are entering into a competitive job market, and it is so crucial to be competitive and do what is necessary to be able to succeed. Get involved in student organizations and leadership opportunities, fellowships, conferences and presentations, and internships. Diversify your resume, while also being able to connect all your experiences to your career goals.