Fels Full-time and Executive MPA students visited Washington, DC, on October 25 (Career Day) to learn about different career paths and connect with alumni in the DC area. Fels Full-time MPA student Ami Patel shares her reflections below:
Our first stop was the United States Senate, where students met Meghan O’Connor `16 and learned about her journey to become the Legislative Aide for Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI). Meghan emphasized the power of networking, especially within the strong Fels network.
Afterward, the group visited the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where many Fels alumni have started or spent their careers. They heard from a panel of speakers that included Anne-Marie Fennell `88, a director at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), and analysts Morgan Jones `15, Peter Kramer `19, and Kellen Wartnow `18. Anne-Marie has been with the GAO for more than 30 years and informed students about the breadth of its work, while the recent Fels graduates were able to expand on the unique professional development program and internship opportunities that the organization offers.
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a think tank focused on national security and defense policies, was the third stop of the day. Students learned about the ins and outs of the federal government from CNAS Director of Communications Shai (Samuel) Korman and Senior Fellow and Director of the CNAS Defense Program Susanna Blume. Shai and Susanna shared their prior experience inside the US State Department and Department of Defense, and how to navigate change within and outside of a government agency.
The day culminated with Fels students, alumni, and prospective students gathered at the Penn Biden Center for a networking happy hour. Local alumni shared their experiences of moving from Philadelphia to DC to establish careers, and students learned more about their current work and their time at Penn.