What Alumni Say About IPA

photo of Shelley MixShelley Mix

Take a look at what Shelley Mix 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: Program Coordinator, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ill.
UD degree: MPA, University of Delaware 2008, State and Local Management

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Q.What is your current position?

A.I currently work as the program coordinator in the Office of Public Engagement at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Q.What challenges are unique to you as a Program Coordinator?

A.It can be challenging to develop and manage such a wide variety of new initiatives for both the Office of Public Engagement and offices that report to it.

Q.What excites you about your job?

A.What excites me [about my position] is using the university’s resources to effect positive change for community, state, and nation.

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

A.I am grateful IPA had such well-established programs such as Legislative Fellows and the Internship Program. I was a Legislative Fellow my first year as a graduate student, and during my second year, I was able to help coordinate the recruitment for and management of the program. As a research assistant, I served as editor of transportation, infrastructure, economic development, and education reports and documents. These experiences helped me in my first position to represent the New Castle County Executive’s Office in departmental meetings and at events, assist the county executive and senior staff in administration and management duties, and coordinate special projects.

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

A.IPA staff taught me project-management skills that have served me well in each of my positions. IPA staff taught me valuable skills about working together, the importance of completing projects in a timely manner, especially when a client is involved, and generally what it is like to work with professional staff as part of a team, which is very different than class assignments. As a business development analyst, these skills are what I now rely on in developing human-capital partnerships with external corporations and public and quasi-public entities in order to identify and develop strategies to attract high-value university partners.

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