M.P.A. Adds Up to Career as Budget Analyst

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In his position at the City of Chicago’s Office of Budget and Management, Scott Greene oversees the operating budgets for the Department of Streets and Sanitation and Department of Transportation, as well as analyzing the city’s general obligation bond, or GO bond, budgets.

This wasn’t the career Greene anticipated when he graduated from college. At that time he had a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and aspirations of becoming a social studies teacher. When his job search didn’t turn up a full-time teaching position, though, he turned his sights elsewhere.

“I have always had a great interest in government, especially infrastructure,” says Greene. He took a job as a public works laborer in a small suburb of Chicago and started taking graduate courses, soon deciding to pursue a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree at Stuart School of Business.

The faculty and the rigor of the courses were just what Greene was looking for, he says. “I was taught by professors who had professional knowledge of the fields they were teaching. What I enjoyed most about all their classes was how the content was rooted in practice. I have been able to take many concepts that I learned in class and directly apply it to my work.”

Greene’s capstone project, “Sports Tax Districts: A Realistic Solution to Public Subsidization of Stadiums and Arenas,” added another layer of career preparation. “The skills I obtained writing and researching it directly go into my current work,” he says.

Two six-month internships with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (Illinois)—one with the Facilities & Fleet Department and the other with the district’s budget director developing the fiscal year 2016 budget—provided the on-the-job experience that led to his current position, Greene says.

“I left Stuart having learned theory,” he notes, “but the theory taught was always interwoven into real-world practice.”