Leslie Finlay

Why did you choose the SPEA Connect MPA program?

I needed a program that would deliver top-tier coursework while complementing my goals in the field. My area of marine conservation is a relatively new one and SPEA promised a strong base in the field of public management and administration to apply across any industry. The flexibility of the program is what initially attracted me, but the staff, faculty and student engagement drove my decision. From the time I began the application process, advisor responsiveness and support has been consistently outstanding, and the spirit continued into each class. My initial reservations about online study have instead turned out to be strengths of this program. Professors provide insightful, consistent guidance while the breadth of classmate experience has proven to be an invaluable resource. 

How has the flexibility of the online program helped you to balance all of your responsibilities?

The nature of my work makes scheduling incredibly unpredictable. Some days I'm out on the water for 16 hours, while others I'm giving lectures or taking cover from monsoon season writing teaching manuals. Then there's the time difference, and we don't have weekends. A traditional, strictly scheduled program was never going to be possible for me to manage, and I know people who constantly struggle with such arrangements.