In the midst of a changing political landscape and upcoming presidential election, Douglas Vance’s burgeoning passion for politics and government led him to pursue a Master of Public Affairs at Merrimack College.
Douglas decided that getting his MPA after completing his undergraduate degree in History was the best path for him in pursuit of his recently developed interests. Merrimack’s MPA program helped him gain the skills he needed to be competitive in this new field and better understand the inner workings of the government.
“The MPA courses helped me become significantly better at effectively communicating with people and more skilled at framing and presenting compelling and persuasive arguments,” says Douglas. “It also allowed me to become more in tune with the day-to-day operations of both local and federal government and to better understand what is actually happening instead of the politicized image often presented.”
During the program, Douglas took a course taught by the town manager of North Andover that he found particularly compelling.
“His course melded a combination of relevant books with his own personal experiences pulled from a career in municipal government to present a more accurate image of how government functions behind the scenes. He was able to effectively communicate to the class complicated concepts in a manner that made them easily understandable,” says Douglas of Maylor’s class.
Douglas took night classes and managed to complete an internship for the City of Newburyport’s Planning Department during the course of his MPA program, all while maintaining his grades and keeping up with his coursework.
“Becoming actively involved in municipal government was an invaluable experience that gave me a whole new perspective on municipal government,” Douglas says.
Today, Douglas is an agent for New York Life in Boston after graduating with his Master’s in Public Affairs in August 2016. He credits his experience getting his MPA at Merrimack with helping him start his career upon graduation.
“Having a master’s degree is crucial in this ultra-competitive job market. The skills I developed while obtaining my MPA have been easily transferrable across industries and have opened countless doors for me.”