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Public Administration

MPA Student Spotlight: Maritza Mata

Maritza is a first generation, Mexican-American student, and is in her last semester of the MPA program.

Maritza Mata.

What drew you to the field of public administration?

After my undergraduate degree, I worked at a local nonprofit organization and I was amazed by everything about it. As I advanced in the organization and was given more responsibility, the more I considered searching for graduate certificates or a masters degree in administration. It was important to obtain the skills and knowledge to further my career in public service.

I chose NC State’s MPA program for the variety in elective coursework and its focus on practical and problem solving skills.

To continue advocating for equal educational opportunities and language justice in North Carolina schools.

I’ve found the policy analysis process and the strategic planning process the most interesting. Both are so important in all areas, internal or external, in all sectors. My goal is to advocate for policy change, so understanding how policies are created, analyzed and implemented was integral during my time in the PA program.

My favorite part of the program has been meeting fellow students. In one class, I was always able to meet students from different ethnic backgrounds and with differing experiences, interests and career goals.

My advice is to reach out to current students with similar career goals and interests and ask as many questions as possible. Most people are willing to help by giving you 15-20 minutes of their time. Also, meet as many classmates as possible and reach out to professors! Everyone in the program is so kind, understanding and eager to help.