Joseph R. Roman
Master of Public Administration Candidate, Virginia Tech, December 2021
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (Health Services Administration) Old Dominion University May 2018
Healthcare Policy; Health Services Administration; Health Equity; Mental Health Awareness
Department of Health Professions (DHP)
Virginia Retirement System (VRS)
Virginia Department of Health (VDH)
What is your educational background and what made you pursue those majors, degrees, etc.?
I have always had a keen interest in the healthcare field ever since I was young. In fact, going into college, I was actually planning on studying to become a Physical Therapist. The education required for Physical Therapists however, is incredibly rigorous and selective. After struggling through the science and math courses, I realized that this was something I no longer wanted to pursue long-term. I aspired to find an alternative career pathway that was more of a blend between health sciences and business. Healthcare administration was that perfect balance. I excelled in the program and was later elected to serve as a peer mentor for younger students just entering the program. It provided me with a unique set of skills where I would be marketable in both the healthcare and business fields. Most importantly, these fields were something I was passionate about, making the journey exciting and rewarding.
I am also currently working towards my Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree, where I am scheduled to graduate in December of 2021. This degree is designed for leadership development in the public and nonprofit sectors. I hope to use what I learned in this fantastic program to help guide me towards becoming the best public servant that I can.
Why did you pursue this opportunity? Why are you drawn to public service?
This fellowship has provided us with valuable career experience while simultaneously continuing our educational development. You cannot ask for a better learning opportunity than that especially for a first job out of college. We fellows are extremely lucky to have been a part of this program and it will help develop and craft our public service toolkit. I think I am drawn to public service mainly because it can be such a rewarding profession. To be able to positively impact the public and work for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia is both an honor and a privilege.
If you could offer a piece of advice to students pursuing a career in public service what would it be?
The wonderful thing about the public sector is that there really are endless opportunities available for everyone. I would advise individuals to explore the fields that you are passionate about, reach out to others in positions that may be of interest to you and set up some informational interviews. You would be surprised how willing and enthusiastic others are when given the opportunity to talk about their own journey…because they too were in the same shoes as you at one point in their life.
“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.
Joseph Roman is a Virginia Management Fellow currently working at the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).