By Ashlyn Anderson
Last weekend, Texas A&M University hosted its annual Public Service Weekend through the Bush School of Government & Public Service. The weekend was filled with a wide array of activities, workshops, and discussions designed to inspire and empower students and participants to help make a positive impact on society while embodying the core principles of Texas A&M’s commitment to service and leadership. Along with the itinerary, there were multiple opportunities for students to talk with current Bush School graduate students, alumni, and community members.
An attendee from the University of Texas at Austin came to network and meet other individuals passionate about the public service sector and learn about other opportunities. “The public service weekend offered by A&M was a rewarding experience,” said the attendee. They expressed how they felt surrounded by individuals dedicated to serving their community and how it has increased their passion for helping humanity. “The people I encountered—community leaders, alumni, graduate students, and peers—reminded me of the importance of serving others with our unique experiences and skills.”
Former undergraduate at Texas A&M University Kingsville and current first-year Master of Public Service and Administration graduate student Devon Blankenship spoke about the importance of attending Public Service Weekend as an undergraduate and volunteering as a graduate student. “Public Service Weekend was the real turning point in deciding what I wanted to do after undergrad,” said Blankenship. “Public Service Weekend got me so excited to pursue this path of public service and reach far beyond what I could have accomplished with just a bachelor’s degree.”
Aside from panels and discussions with alumni and community members, participants learned more about applying to graduate school. This involved a tour of the Bush School, student-led panels in both Public Service and Administration (PSAA) and International Affairs (INTA) tracks, and application and resume workshops led by the Bush School Career Services. “Pursuing a master’s program, in general, became so much more alluring and worthwhile seeing the people, support, and tools that the Bush School provided without even selling itself to those who came, they sold the idea of public service, which meant so much more,” explained Blankenship.
Public Service Weekend is a yearly event that allows students of all backgrounds to get an inside look at what public service as a job truly is and what it can offer, and it helps celebrate the legacy of former president George H.W. Bush that “public service is a noble calling.”