Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 15, 2016

Political Science Students Go for MPA

Sarah Farnam

Political science majors Jake Burns and Jordan Lett are preparing to further their education in graduate school.

Both seniors are planning to utilize their degrees in political science in different ways. Lett, who has an additional major in economics, is planning to attend Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. Burns, who added on a communication studies minor, has not made a definite decision, but is seriously considering Indiana University Bloomington.

If he does attend IU, Burns will be enrolling in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) in order to receive his Master of Public Administration (MPA). “I’m leaning toward IU because they gave me a really awesome scholarship, it’s in Indiana still—3.5 hours away from home, and it’s the number-one ranked school in the country for my program,” Burns said.

Once he receives his MPA, Burns plans to go into bureaucratic work. “As boring as it sounds, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’d like to live out east in Washington DC or something like that,” he said.

Lett also plans to work towards an MPA; however, he will complete his with an urban policy concentration. He believes that IUPUI is the perfect place to further his education. “They are one of the few schools I found with a master’s program that offered scholarships,” Lett said. “They’re nationally ranked; even though it’s a satellite campus, they’re 42nd out of 272 universities for the program. They have a lot of noteworthy alumni, and a lot of the faculty here really respect the school.”

As far as his future is concerned, Lett has laid out a few options for himself. They include either going straight into work in a career involving state politics, or going to graduate school again to earn his doctorate. “I’d like to teach at a small school like Manchester,” he explained.

Though the two have been accepted into impressive graduate schools, it took them a lot of time and effort to do so. “There’s a lot of preparation that I don’t think most people actually think about until last minute,” said Burns, who began preparing in early September.

The most helpful step for Lett was speaking with Manchester University faculty and his advisor. “They have an idea of what kind of schools are out there, and which ones have good credentials,” he said. “Being such a small school here, our professors know what our interests are, so they have a good idea of what schools would best fit our personality.”

Despite the hard work, they are both excited for the next phase in their academic lives. Burns in particular is looking forward to new opportunities, adventures, and building off of the education that he received at Manchester. Lett is ready to take classes on policy and environmental law—two topics that he loves to learn about.

As Burns and Lett prepare to graduate, they look back upon the ways in which Manchester has helped prepare them for graduate school. “I think Manchester has taught me how to be a leader inside and outside of the classroom,” Burns said. “A lot of other universities can teach you how to be a leader outside of the classroom, but being a leader inside of the classroom does matter and it makes a difference.”

Lett believes that Manchester prepares students for both professional and academic futures. “The programs here are excellent—they’re very rigorous, and the faculty here always want to see their students succeed.”