What Alumni Say About IPA

photo of Kim GomesKim Gomes

Take a look at what Kim Gomes said in an interview about her career and her experiences at IPA looking back, now that she’s been in the workforce for more than five years.

current position: Vice President, The Byrd Group, LLC, Wilmington, Del.
UD degree: MPA, University of Delaware 2004, Organizational Leadership


Q.What is your current position?

A.I am Vice President of The Byrd Group LLC, a lobbying company in Wilmington, Del.

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

A.Prior to getting my Master of Public Administration degree, I held a temporary position with a brokerage firm in New York City.  I was involved in trade confirmations for the international trading desk.  Again, this position required me to deal directly and constantly with all kinds of people while gaining specific knowledge of the industry.

Q.What challenges are unique to you as Vice President?

A.In almost everything I have done prior to lobbying I have been in front of people, particularly as a fitness or ballroom dance instructor. All kinds of people take fitness classes and all kinds of people take ballroom dance classes. The constant challenge for me as an instructor was to figure out how to teach any type of student what I wanted them to learn. Lobbying is really not much different. I spend lots of time figuring out to how to deliver my message the most effective way possible for whomever I am talking to.

Q.What excites you about your job?

A.Everything! Each day brings new challenges, and I love the strategy of working an issue.

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

A.The MPA program gave me a great foundation of knowledge in the public sector. Working with Dr. Maria Aristigueta was wonderful.  She gave me great projects and then the license as a grad student to get the work done. She was a mentor without being a micro-manager and allowed for open dialogue between us to strategize on steps forward. My experience as her graduate assistant has served me well in my current position.

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

A.The most important thing I learned from my time at the Institute for Public Administration is that there truly are no limits to thinking about what you may want to do with your career! Lobbying was not even on my radar screen when I entered the program, but it sounded like fun, so I went for it. The folks at IPA did nothing but encourage me to do whatever it was I wanted.

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