As the fall semester begins, we would like to introduce our new graduate assistant, Jordyn Ryan. Jordyn is a second year MPA student, and this may be a secondary introduction for those who have been in class with her! Jordyn is originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, and moved to the U.S. six years ago to pursue her academic and athletic college career.
Why did you choose PUBA?
As I neared graduation with a degree in Kinesiology, I was unsure what direction I wanted to pursue my masters in. After being on a collegiate sports team for 4 years, I was passionate about interacting in meaningful and purposeful ways with others. I wanted to facilitate change through interpersonal relationships. My advisor suggested the PUBA program, and helped me see outside of the world of athletics. I spoke with the former GA, Yvonne, who encouraged me to apply and spoke highly of the program. The MPA program had my dream schedule (I loved night classes, especially during my last year of swimming for UH), and I was immediately interested in the core class topics.
What is your favorite course experience so far?
I have really enjoyed all of my classes at PUBA, but 2 standouts include Dr. Yu’s Personnel Management (606) and Dr. Nixon’s Research Methods (607). Dr. Yu is a very entertaining lecturer, and her real-life experiences and case-study activities are very practical ways to digest the material. Dr. Nixon is a wonderful educational guide to help you become self-sufficient in research. I wrote a paper titled Retention Practices: How the Importance Differs Based on the Perception of Employees and Employers. I was able to independently gather data from previous studies, convert the values to fit my parameters, run a statistical analysis, and find a significant difference in my analysis. At the beginning of the semester I never dreamt my paper would have turned out as well as it did!
What advice would you give prospective MPA students?
Start thinking about how you like to show up for your community! Whether that is volunteering, getting involved with legislation and local government, or advocating for special causes, figure out what fulfills your need to contribute to society. This will help immensely with choosing what to focus on in class, practicums, capstones and eventually your career.
How will the MPA help with your career goals?
The flexibility with the electives in the second year of the program have allowed me to be more specific with my education as it corresponds to my future career. I selected a policy analysis course from the school of Natural Resources and Environmental Management as one of my electives, which will help progress my career goal of working for the BC provincial government, in one of their many environmental ministries.
Reach out to the PUBA email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions for Jordyn.