Article written by Erin Sydney Fox, Office of Extended Education
Matthew Miller began working on his Executive Master of Public Service & Administration (EMPSA) degree as a member of the charter class in summer 2016 when the program began. It was not his first time as a student of the Bush School of Government & Public Service. Miller had already earned an online graduate Certificate in Homeland Security while working at a previous job. While attempting to branch out in his career, Miller discovered he was very intrigued by public service. His previous experience with the professors at the Bush School drew him towards the brand new EMPSA program. As a member of the very first graduating EMPSA class, Miller noted that the willingness of the professors to understand the concerns of students while giving feedback made the program a success.
Although the EMPSA program is almost entirely online, students and faculty gather twice during the program for a week on campus called Residency Week, where they meet face-to-face to work on academic coursework and capstone team projects. Students also discover Aggie traditions and make lifelong friends during the week. Miller is a fan of Residency Week and says his second Residency Week was his favorite memory while studying at Texas A&M University. By year two, the students had established relationships with each other and used that comradery to socialize outside the online classroom. Miller formed such strong friendships with some classmates that they shared an Airbnb house for the second Residency Week, and they have continued to stay connected past graduation.
Now, a little over two years since his graduation from the EMPSA program, Miller is a Senior Business Continuity Analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Although he worked for the Federal Reserve throughout his time as a student, he credits his experiences in the EMPSA program with providing a broader perspective and greater understanding regarding topics like economics, managerial statistics, and state and local policy, which have continued to impact his career in public service. The EMPSA program also sparked his appetite for more education. He plans to pursue his doctoral degree in the future.
Following his graduation from the Bush School, Miller had the opportunity to sit on one of the Dean’s committees concerning strategy and innovation for the School’s extended and residential education. Miller views the Bush School’s interest in soliciting feedback and continuing communication with alumni as one of the main reasons the School and its programs are so successful. The School’s interest in the opinions and expertise of former graduates is a unique trait that he has yet to see replicated anywhere else.
Each month, the EMPSA program will highlight the experiences of one of its former students. Matthew Miller is this month’s featured alumni. Stay tuned to see who we will feature next month!