The killer feature for me was the flexibility of the program…

Current Online Masters of Public Administration (MPA) student, Vanna Camille Curi, lives in Washington DC, USA as a Programme Coordinator for the International Association of Immunization Managers at the Sabin Vaccine Institute. She tells us why she chose to study with the University of Birmingham and how she sees it shaping her career.

I pursued the Online Masters of Public Administration because it was without doubt the most appropriate academic path for me. My undeniably strong interest in further developing my skills and knowledge through Birmingham’s MPA was not a difficult conclusion to reach.

I was fully aware of the University’s world-renowned reputation for excellence, high research activity and academic diversity. More importantly, the course-specific elements made it an utterly attractive and perfectly fitting program for me, presenting the combination of academic modules that I needed to further develop my career effectively.

Now, the killer feature for me was the flexibility of the program through the possibility of engaging in distance learning. There are major benefits to this approach in the sense that one’s work life schedule does not get affected negatively. Being able to organize daily life under a relatively flexible academic timeframe allows me to focus on learning rather than petty logistics such as physically arriving to a lecture hall on time.

Even though distance learning requires extra discipline and responsibility, it allows more convenient self management. After all, it is quite challenging for young professionals like me to balance working full time and pursing valuable post-graduate studies, which has been made easier by institutions like Birmingham.

Recommended read: 8 good study habits for online degree students

I could have gone to many other competitive schools to obtain my Masters of Public Administration, but the University of Birmingham offered me the best options. Its flexibility, affordability, attentive academic staff, and more importantly the convenient part-time schedule, were what reassured me I was making the right choice.

I earned my Bachelor’s degree from McGill University, in Montreal, where I majored in Political Science with a concentration on International Relations and a double minor in Philosophy and Sociology. Effective social change is the reason I chose such an academic path and why I have implemented it throughout my professional decisions towards non-profit management.

I currently work for the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a global health organization in Washington D.C, and I’m proud of being part of such an outstandingly valuable entity which consistently contributes to our society through reducing needless human suffering.

Our increasingly interdependent society faces many new challenges, most of which are managerial and budget reallocation related. These challenges require my generation to become more experienced and more academically prepared than ever before.

I was aware to have exhausted possibilities of career advancement at my current academic level, and opted for acquiring capacities that can only be developed through an MPA. I wanted to advance the effectiveness of my efforts to educate and eliminate barriers through governmental and non-governmental organizations that increase resource accessibility.

After graduating, I will be uniquely prepared to face the challenges of public administration in the global health field and advance my career in non-profit management.

If you have a question for Vanna, feel free to comment on this post in the comments section below. Alternatively, if you would like more information about our Online Masters of Public Administration, you can fill out our request for information form, or contact our Admissions Team, who would be happy to talk through your options.

Start the conversation. Share your thoughts on this article in the comments section below:

Comments Join the conversation by adding your comment below.

Dear Vanna,

Thanks for the helpful write-up. I too am considering doing the MPA at Birmingham, but wanted to know how your academic experience translated with US employers. Is your degree highly regarded/recognised in the US?

Add your comment