The Alumni Experience at AAP

Posted in Liberal Arts, Public Management, Research Administration, Science Writing, Writing

As the 2014 Graduate Ceremony approaches, how do our alumni reflect back on their experience at AAP? It is our hope that graduates gain the essential knowledge and professional skills to take that next step in their career path. We interviewed Darrell “DJ” Jordan, an alumnus of the Johns Hopkins MA in Public Management, for a window into the alumni experience.

DJ JordanMr. Jordan is the Communications Director for the U. S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee under Chairman Sam Graves, U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 6th congressional district. He is also a Board Member of the Virginia State Board of Social Services and a College Football TV Commentator for Liberty Flames Sports Network.

“I really enjoyed my time as a Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs graduate student. It was a great opportunity to hear about firsthand experiences…in places like the White House, Congress, the nonprofit world, or government advocacy,” said Mr. Jordan. “I would definitely recommend the Hopkins Advanced Academic Program Masters in Public Management to a prospective student, because the knowledge gained from the program is benefiting me now in my current job on Capitol Hill and it is opening new doors in my future.”

AAP students are in the pursuit of professional and academic advancement. Our programs offer the flexibility to take classes at a variety of on-site locations and many incorporate online learning. This strategy allows our students to grow as leaders in their industry while gaining the skills and expertise necessary to dream big.

“My graduate experiences really deepened my knowledge of public policy, government and nonprofit management, and gave me a better understanding of industries and sectors that I hadn’t known before,” said Mr. Jordan. “Because of the extra exposure to the inner-workings of government and the nonprofit world, I feel more confident about my future career track and possible opportunities that I could explore.”

Although it is important to focus on your studies while in graduate school, it is also beneficial to find a work/life balance. The majority of AAP students are working adults who have a full-time job and family obligations.

“Managing work/life balance was a challenge for me, because I work on Capitol Hill and have a wife and kids, but I didn’t regret it for a moment. The time spent with the Johns Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs was a strategic investment in my career that my family and I will ultimately benefit from,” said Mr. Jordan. “Because of the professional benefit of my graduate studies, my family, especially my wife, was extremely supportive of me. The online courses were priceless because I was able to complete my work during times that were flexible for me, whether that be before work or after putting my kids to bed.”

Every student leaves behind a legacy of exceptional achievement. Regardless of what you studied, when you graduated, or where life has taken you, we cherish our alumni as a vital part of the AAP community. What advice would Mr. Jordan give a prospective student?

“The advice I would give to students considering a graduate degree while working full-time is that it is possible, despite the perceived challenges. The Advanced Academic Programs is challenging, but it is definitely possible for a working adult. If someone as busy as I can do it, any working adult can do it.”

To learn more about the services and opportunities available to Johns Hopkins alumni, please click here.