Master of Public Administration, Virginia Tech, December 2019
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Virginia Tech, May 2017
Human resources, workforce planning & development, learning & development, the legislative process, state & local government
Virginia Retirement Agency (VRS)
Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM)
Department of Behavioral Health (DBHDS)
What is your educational background and what made you pursue those majors, degrees, etc.?
I entered college as with a plan to major in journalism. A semester in, I realized that my interest in journalism was rooted more in my passion for reading and writing about politics and less about becoming a reporter. Studying political science gave me an opportunity to indulge that passion for a few years. As I approached graduation, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public service. Enrolling in Virginia Tech’s MPA program in Richmond was an incredibly important step for me in pursuing this goal.
Why did you pursue this opportunity? Why are you drawn to public service?
Public service runs in my family—my dad and brother are both state employees as well. I grew up knowing I wanted my work to make a difference and be personally rewarding. Prior to joining VMF I worked as a probation office in Chesterfield County. I loved working in local government, but I wanted to broaden my horizons and get exposure to different fields and professions. The VMF program has given me that in spades.
How has your educational background helped you in your rotations?
Connecting theory to practice, analyzing information, communicating clearly, and presenting are a few skills I developed as an undergraduate and graduate student. These have been invaluable to me through each rotation. Studying public administration in particular helped me develop the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for a career in public sector bureaucracy.
If you could offer a piece of advice to students pursuing a career in public service what would it be?
Strike a balance between following your passions and being open to new professional experiences. My professional journey has been guided by a singular commitment to public service, but I have benefited so much from being willing to take on new opportunities as they present themselves. Opening myself up to new opportunities within the public sector has allowed me to pick up knowledge, processes, skills, and experiences that I will undoubtedly take with me as I continue in my career.
“Before the Fellowship” is part of an ongoing series on the VMF blog where current Virginia Management Fellows answer questions related to their educational and career experiences prior to starting the fellowship.
Ian Rose is a Virginia Management Fellow working at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).