Career Moves: Determination, a polished application helped Emily Robinson ’22 get closer to public policy career

Emily Robinson, a policy studies major from Morganton, North Carolina, was accepted into NC State University's Master of Public Administration program after working with the Student Professional Development Center to finalize her personal statement. 

Emily Robinson ’22 began her senior year at a standstill. She knew she wanted to attend graduate school after receiving her bachelor’s degree in policy studies but had no idea where to begin her search.

When her senior seminar faculty member, Associate Professor of Political Science Jason Husser, mentioned North Carolina State University’s Master of Public Administration Program, Robinson knew she had to investigate. She discovered that the program aligned perfectly with her future goals and decided to apply.

With the help of René Jackson, a career advisor in the Student Professional Development Center, Robinson was able to polish her application materials and add some finishing touches before submitting her personal statement.

Robinson answered questions recently from the SPDC about her experience.

How did your interest in attending the NC State Masters of Public Administration program develop?

In my senior seminar class, we were asked to look into what we wanted to do with our futures. I mentioned to my professor, Jason Husser, that I may want to go to graduate school but was unsure what programs would help further my education in public administration policy.

I wanted to stay in North Carolina, and he encouraged me to look at N.C. State University’s program and the faculty. I looked at the classes within the program and the job placements and knew the program would be a good fit.

What were you trying to accomplish when you met with the Student Professional Development Center?

I wanted another pair of eyes to review my personal statement for grammatical errors that I might have missed and suggest enhancements.

Who did you work with and what specific help did you receive from the Student Professional Development Center?

I met with René Jackson. She read over my personal statement line by line and helped me clarify ideas while still maintaining my tone.

Would you please tell me about your experience getting accepted into N.C. State Masters of Public Administration?

The process of being accepted into the program took much longer than I thought. When I initially spoke with an N.C. State representative, they told me they aimed for a two-week turnaround. So when six weeks had gone by, and I had not heard back, I was pretty anxious. It was the only application I submitted. But then, during my economics class, I got an email from N.C. State informing me of my acceptance. I told friends sitting next to me that I got in and we were all celebrating! The professor and the entire class started clapping for me. It was inspiring.

What career goals do you hope to realize after your graduate experience?

I hope to work in North Carolina local governments handling poverty alleviation policy. More specifically, I am interested in helping young parents pushed into poverty due to teen pregnancy or adolescent parenting.

Were there other faculty members that you worked with to prepare? Who were they, and what help did you receive?

Dr. Husser provided lots of helpful information and assistance during this time in his senior seminar policy studies class. He made himself available outside of scheduled class time and regularly spoke about my personal goals and projects.

What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?

I would recommend involving the SPDC in every part of the application process. Use the resources Elon provides for you. The one-on-one attention I received was beneficial. I would recommend setting up an appointment with the SPDC to review your resume, personal statement, statement of purpose and personal essays.