After nearly two decades in technology positions, Post MPA student Jessica Gioia felt like it was time for a change.
Following the completion of her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in 1998, the Newington, CT native quickly began a family and a career in the public sector. Gioia has worked in state government in Connecticut since 1998 and is currently working in the Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology as an Information Technology Analyst.
After 17 years in one field, Gioia knew she needed a change, and knew she needed to begin a journey that would start with furthering her education. The starting and ending points were clear to Gioia: enroll in Post University’s Master of Public Administration program and seek a position as a public administrator. With the completion of her MPA program in May, she hopes to take one step closer to that end point and hopes to soon put her degree to work.
“My experience and my MPA from Post have given me the advantage of not only having the hands-on technical experience, but the educational background, to become an active public administrator in the State of Connecticut,” she said. “These qualities have allowed me to succeed and prepared me for my next chapter.”
Gioia always knew she wanted to pursue higher education, but it wasn’t until 2011, after weighing her options and making a visit to Post’s campus, that she decided to return to school for her graduate degree.
“I loved working in state government, and Public Administration was a natural progression for my education and career,” she said.
Working full-time and raising a family, Gioia found Post’s online setting worked for her busy schedule. In addition to the flexibility it provided, she felt the diversity of the classrooms, with students in different sectors and in different parts of the country, brought forward many varying opinions that helped mold her experience.
“There is not a day that passes at work where I do not use some aspect of the knowledge I have gained from my classmates and professors,” she said. “You truly get to know your classmates and gain an insight into their lives differently than traditional in-class discussions.”
It wasn’t always easy, but after four years and plenty of hard work, Gioia will be donning a cap and gown and receiving her diploma.
“I value my persistence and dedication to completing my degree and place Post at the top of my list for greatest accomplishments,” she said. “Graduating from a traditional university as a young student, out of high school, is an accomplishment; however, as an older student, pursuing a graduate degree takes courage and valor.”
The career change journey she began four years ago will take a giant leap forward next month, with the goal of launching her new career in Public Administration a hopeful next step.