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Careers

  • SPIA undergraduate students pursue a variety of career paths. Some pursue graduate degrees for careers as scholars, lawyers, civil servants, or public managers. Others enter the job market in the private or nonprofit sectors. Some even try politics as a career.
  • SPIA graduate students pursue career paths in academia, public policy, nonprofit administration, international relations, and more.
  • Recent alumni accolades include:
    • Carla Williams (MPA ’91) named first African American female athletic director at a Power Five Institution.
    • J. Warren Stembridge (AB ‘85) received the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal.
    • Sarah Hughes (AB ’14) worked as a researcher for NBC during the 2018 Winter Olympics primarily covering figure skating.
    • Christopher Belk (AB ’05) tops Bulldog 100 with the #1 fastest growing UGA alumni-owned business in the country for 2018.
    • Tim Fleming (AB ‘05 ) was named Chief of Staff for Georgia’s new Governor.
  • For more information about our alumni, read our magazine We The People.

Hi, my name is Olivia Duke. I got a Master's of Public Administration at the University of Georgia. I was employed prior to graduating, which I was very thankful for. I began my employment with the Senate Budget and Evaluation Office. A lot of that, I think, was dependent upon the familiarity with the program that I was graduating from.

The phone interview was enough, I think, that married with my education and graduating the program that they're like, you're going to be the right candidate for us. And what I recognized very early on is that there are actually a lot of UGA MPA grads that work in state-level government.

My undergraduate degree certainly provided the foundation for everything I did after that. As a federal prosecutor, I was in charge of all of the federal prosecutions related to drug trafficking in the Northern District of Georgia, which is a huge area. In 2011, I left to establish my own law firm. The things I did, what I learned at UGA certainly provided the foundation and the building blocks for all of the experiences I've had since then.

If you like languages, if you like travel, if you love cultures, if you appreciate these things, SPIA is for you. If you like politics, if you like to kind of expand your horizons, SPIA is for you. You'll hear all the time, you'll hear that people go and get a degree-- could be UGA, could be Harvard, could be anywhere-- but they don't end up working in their field. People that get degrees in SPIA work in fields in international affairs and politics. All these different elements, they end up following those paths. And I think that is a great testament how strong the program is.