As a mid-career professional, I was keen to avoid a prolonged gap in my professional journey and sought a concise program that would equip me with the necessary knowledge and skills to chart a new course in my career.”
Prior to the Ford School: A non-profit professional working on humanitarian issues in Myanmar.
Why I chose an MPA: My career aspiration is to work internationally, gain exposure to diverse contexts, and acquire fresh experiences. However, securing an international position from my home country, with a resume primarily comprised of localized experience, proved to be challenging. In mid-2021, I began contemplating the pursuit of a master’s degree that could propel me toward achieving my career goals.
Sandy Su (MPA ‘21) was an experienced non-profit professional working in the humanitarian and development sectors in her home country of Myanmar. With aspirations to work internationally, she needed to expand her resume beyond her localized experience. She is now a consultant with CARE USA and lives in New York, NY.
How did you come to work for CARE USA?
Prior to completing the MPA program, I received an offer from CARE to work as a consultant. I am currently engaged in this role. As an international student entering the international job market for the first time, I initially had concerns about my post-graduation prospects. I am deeply grateful to the MPA program and the Ford School, both of which have significantly influenced my job search and facilitated my current position. The Ford School equipped me with valuable skills, insights, and knowledge that I can effectively apply in my career. I take pride in being an alum of the Ford School and am dedicated to contributing positively to the society I am a part of through my work.
What was your favorite course?
Drawing from my prior experience in the non-profit sector, I have a particular affinity for courses where I can directly apply my background and leverage acquired knowledge and skills in shaping my future career. Notably, I am enthusiastic about courses such as Values and Ethics, International Development Management, and Leadership and Management, all of which align with my career aspirations. These classes offer opportunities for me to gain fresh insights and broaden my comprehension across various mains.
How did your classmates enhance your experience at the Ford School?
Being my first time living in the U.S., my friends and classmates played a pivotal role in helping me adapt to the new environment, comprehend, and navigate unfamiliar contexts, and successfully complete the program. I have maintained ongoing contact with them to this day.
Do you have advice for Future Fordies?
The MPA program caters to individuals who find themselves in mid-career and have chosen a clear path to advance. It allows them to polish their knowledge and wisdom in a particular policy area of interest and engage in in-depth discussions on related issues. This program offers them an opportunity to apply their pre-existing experience and gain fresh insights to enhance their prospects for their future careers.
What is your best memory of your time at the Ford School?
Among the cherished memories I hold from my time at the Ford School, one stands out vividly: the initial week of orientation. During that period, I experienced a genuine sense of belonging to the Ford family, and I am truly grateful to the professors, faculty, and friends for their warm welcome. Yet perhaps, the most enduring and joyous memory I have is my graduation day – an occasion that marked the proudest moment in my life.