Krysten Carrera MPA’10

The MPA at UT Dallas gave me the practical skills necessary to succeed in the federal government.

Home: Potomac, Maryland

UT Dallas Degree: Master of Public Affairs
Profession: Writer/Editor, National Institutes of Health

My Work

Since 2012 I’ve worked on the media team at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. I promote the research our scientists conduct and co-edit the NIDDK Director’s Update quarterly newsletter. On a given day, I could be writing a press release, training a spokesperson for a media interview, crafting Tweets, connecting a reporter to a disease expert, or a number of other activities.

Before working at NIDDK I was a Presidential Management Fellow, a two-year leadership program in the federal government for people with advanced degrees. During my fellowship I worked in different offices throughout the NIH, with additional rotations at the Food and Drug Administration and the State Department.

The Value of My Degree

The MPA gave me the practical skills necessary to succeed in the federal government. I continue to draw upon what I learned in the program in my daily work.

My EPPS Success

I attribute my success at UT Dallas to experiential learning and networking. Participation in Dr. Don Arbuckle’s Inaugural Graduate Program in Public Policy course in Washington, D.C. in 2009 inspired me to pursue a career at the federal level. To get started on that goal, I worked as an intern in the Public Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy in Madrid in 2010. That internship served as a capstone to my academic career and helped me land a position as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Washington, D.C. area.

Advice for EPPS Students

Take advantage of experiential learning opportunities. Also, well before the conclusion of your program, apply for as many jobs and internships as possible. The ideal scenario is that you will be able to choose between multiple prospects.