Ashley Manz (Seton Hall B.A., '12, M.P.A., '16) recently embarked on a new journey when she accepted the position of Senior Public Information Assistant for Mayor Fulop in Jersey City. In this role, Ashley's work involves working on communication strategies, writing press releases and reaching out to media, as well as working with other departments to coordinate events and statements.
This is an exciting opportunity especially since Ashley remarks that this is her "dream job." She loves the idea of working in an up-and-coming city like Jersey City and being part of the city's diversity. She adds that a particularly satisfying aspect of her job is that she feels surrounded by supportive and creative people who are welcoming of all ideas.
Ashley credits the M.P.A. program for giving her the confidence and knowledge to further her career and land her "dream job." Before joining the MPA program, Ashley graduated from Seton Hall with a degree in public relations and successfully worked in public relations for multiple years. While working for a public relations agency, she became interested in strategic communication within the public sector, but felt she lacked an understanding of government and nonprofit organizations.
"Going back to graduate school gave me even more passion for my career choice," said Ashley. "I loved working on strategic communication campaigns that promoted my clients and their portfolio of products and services, but I knew that I wanted to add value to society in a bigger way. Dr. Hale, Dr. Wish and the professors in the M.P.A. program provided the toolkit that prepared me well to do just that."
The MPA degree gave Ashley the knowledge she was searching for, allowing her to fully understand the organizations she was working with. Additionally, her double concentration in nonprofit management and public policy gave her different perspectives that made her more well-rounded and confident in what she can contribute.
Matthew Hale, M.P.A. Program Director, is not surprised that Ashley was able to attain such a wonderful position considering "she was the type of student who got things done." He added that "anything that was given to her, you would turn around and it would be done."
Ashley is confident that she will continue to utilize her M.P.A. degree and is excited to apply everything she learned to make a difference though her new role.