What Alumni Say About IPA

photo of john collinsJohn Collins

Take a look at what John Collins said in an interview about his career and his experiences at IPA looking back, now that he’s been in the workforce for more than five years.

current position: Carper for Senate Campaign Manager, Newark Del.
UD degree: MPA, University of Delaware 2009, State and Local Management, Health Care


Q.What is your current position?

A.I serve as Campaign Manager of Tom Carper’s campaign for reelection to the U.S. Senate.

Q.What experiences have you had that helped qualify you for this position?

A.After graduate school, I went to work for Senator Carper as a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, after serving as a Washington Fellow for the same subcommittee in between my first and second years.  There I led oversight of a number of issues including the federal government’s energy usage and the over $80 billion federal information technology portfolio.  I was lead staff for the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act and the GPRA Modernization Act, both of which were sponsored by Senator Carper and signed into law by President Obama.

Q.What excites you about your job?

A.Senator Carper has a great team surrounding him both here in the state and back in Washington, so even though my job has changed, I'm still able to rely on these individuals who are really bright and incredibly talented. This is an organization that prides itself on teamwork and service to Delawareans, and no matter what the job description or office, at the end of the day, that's what it’s all about.

Q.How did your experiences at UD and through IPA help prepare you for what you’re doing now?

A.Working as a Legislative Fellow for the Senate Majority Caucus was an experience that taught me how to handle multiple, vastly different tasks both quickly and effectively. It was a great opportunity to meet a variety of people from all walks of life who were interested in Delaware public policy.  My fellowship in Washington was ultimately what helped me get a job in D.C. after graduation. Being able to work and research on Capitol Hill allowed me to show some of the skills I had learned through IPA and gave me a leg-up when I was ready to look for a job.

Q.Looking back, what is the most important thing you learned at IPA that has helped you the most?

A.In my view, there’s no more marketable and valuable skill, no matter what the profession or industry, than being able to communicate complex ideas in a simple, effective manner.  Working for IPA allowed me to hone analytical and communication skills in real-life settings, which has been tremendously helpful in my professional career so far.

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