Debra Bryant completed the MPA program in 1980. She currently owns a federal government affairs consulting firm. See our full interview with Debra to learn how her MPA helped her develop a successful career in public service!
What is your current position? What do you enjoy most about your current position? What do you find most challenging?
After more than 30 years of experience, for the last 5 years, I have owned my own federal government affairs consulting firm working for a variety of clients. Every day brings new challenges.
What is a typical work day like for you?
Daily review of varied issue specific publications, monitor congressional hearings, and revise and implement client legislative strategy accordingly. Must meet congressional deadlines, anticipate legislative action months in advance, and influence an ever changing process.
How did the MPA program at NC State prepare you for your current position?
Developed multi-tasking and critical thinking skills.
What did you enjoy most about being an MPA student?
Diversity of the students in the classroom, most often working full-time, brought those real life experiences which added tremendous value in learning.
Did you complete any hands-on experiences while in the program?
As an undergraduate at Meredith College, I had three internships in state government which influenced my decision to seek an MPA. So at NCSU, I interned in local government to get a different perspective. All excellent experiences that have informed my career.
What was your favorite part of the MPA program?
Excellent faculty and small classes provided an opportunity to review evidence-based data, learn the theory, explore program budget and management, and participate in challenging public policy debates.
What do you find to be the most interesting, or challenging, part of Public Administration?
Public service is a tremendous responsibility and admirable career. It is always important to respect and thank public servants, and try to make their lives better as they are helping others.
What advice do you have for students considering a career in Public Administration?
Take internships and discuss public policy solutions with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences.