Joseph chose SPEA Connect because of Indiana Unviersity's reputation and the advantages of learning alongside other mid-career professionals. He was attracted to the online format, which meant not having to give up his full-time job. Joseph was able to balance the program with the help and understanding of his employer, who benefitted from his increased skills on the job. The asynchronous nature of the courses also allowed him to fit the program into his schedule.
Joseph credits his MPA with providing him the skills that helped him to switch careers. In particular, he says that it allowed him to "demonstrate the compentencies that my employers wanted - especially writing ability, knowledge of the public sector, and broad familiarity with management principles."
When asked to provide advice to current students or students who are considering applying to the program, Joseph says "students should master content, but also focus on building colleague and faculty relationships, which can sustain learning long after the program is over and offer lots of connections later in your career." In fact, he says that he "underestimated how much I would learn from my classmates, many of whom had many years of experience," that they brought to the classroom.
Finally, Joseph is appreciative of his SPEA Connect experience because being able to complete the program while working full time helped him to bring the content to life, and gave him a fresh perspective on vexing problems in his professional work.