Cailey Young, class of 2023 Master of Public Service & Administration candidate, discusses her experience at the Bush School. Cailey is in the Nonprofit Management Track with a concentration in International Nongovernmental Organizations (INGO).
Interviewer: Introduce yourself.
Cailey: My name is Cailey Young, and I am a second-year here at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. I’m receiving my Master’s in Public Service and Administration focusing in Nonprofit management, and I’m getting a concentration in International Nongovernmental Organizations. I originally got my undergrad degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. I went to school all four years there for undergrad, and I was just looking to further my knowledge into the nonprofit sector and, originally, I thought I was going to have to go out of state for that, but then I stumbled across the Bush School website and found out that they had a nonprofit program here, and it was very esteemed, very prestigious, and I thought, “why not apply, why not see if I can make it into this program?” And sure enough, I made it.
Interviewer: What was your favorite part of your first year at the Bush School?
Cailey: My favorite part about my first year here at the Bush School was getting involved with the community that was the Bush School, and it was a combination of amazingly welcoming professors and amazingly humble students. Coming into the program, it felt very intimidating to be surrounded by so many individuals that were successful in their respective field and have come from such a huge variety of backgrounds, and they were all on the same level as one another when we came into the Bush School. And I don’t think any single person wanted to see another person fail or stumble, and it was an amazing relief to have such an amazing community.
Interviewer: What are your favorite classes at the Bush School?
Cailey: Because I’m in the concentration of International Nongovernmental Organizations, I’ve had the privilege of being able to take International Affairs classes as well. I’m currently taking Women in International Development and Economic Conflict, and that is something I never expected myself to take. I never expected myself to be interested in International Development, but that class has been so eye-opening and it has sparked a lot of passion in me, and I could definitely see myself going into a career in that sector. Another class that I really have enjoyed was Dr. (Deborah) Kerr’s Public Policy Formation. While it is one of the harder courses here on campus, it is also one of the most gratifying. It gave me a lot of skills, including public speaking skills and professional writing skills, that will hold value for me whenever I go into the workforce.
Interviewer: What did you do over the summer?
Cailey: This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work with a nonprofit here in Bryan/College Station called Our Terminal, a very small startup nonprofit. They’ve only been around three or four years and the founder of the organization is actually getting her Certificate in Nonprofit Management here at the Bush School. I got to work with her as a grant writer over the summer. We’re still waiting to hear back on a couple of grants for her and her organization, fingers crossed, in August.
Interviewer: What is the most challenging part of the Bush School?
Cailey: One of the most challenging parts of being here at the Bush School was probably initially coming in and not expecting the workload. The workload was very heavy, but also at the same time the career fields that we’re going into are going to be rigorous as well. And so, it only makes you better by going through what we go through, and it also shows you that you’ve made it through a various esteemed and rigorous program, so that makes you a better person as well when entering the workforce.
Interviewer: What advice would you give your younger self before coming to the Bush School?
Cailey: Something I would probably say to my younger self is that, you made it through the application process, you made it through the process of being admitted into the Bush School, and the feelings of self-doubt that you may feel whenever you come into the program, and you are around all these amazing people is just setting the bar for something that you are also going to achieve. You wouldn’t have made it into this program if you weren’t smart and if you weren’t brilliant, and you deserve to be where you are at this point in your life. You’re gonna flourish.
Interviewer: Tell me about your capstone.
Cailey: As a second year. I’m going through the process of completing my Capstone. We are working with a nonprofit based out of Austin called Allies Against Slavery. They partner with the state of Texas and they also partner with other nonprofits throughout Texas in an effort to collect data on human trafficking and that data is then processed and created into reports so that the Texas Legislature can implement policy to better serve the individuals that are being trafficked. One of their goals is to scale out into other states. Currently they have partnered with the state of Louisiana which is outstanding; it’s an amazing next step, but they are trying to develop a tool to help them determine when, and where, and how to scale sustainably into other states, so that is what our Capstone has been tasked with. It has been very challenging just because each state has its own different policies, they have their own legislative processes that are different from one another and functioning as a nonprofit, it can be very difficult in identifying, “okay who do I need to contact; who do I need to get in touch with in order to build relationships to make it a successful transition?” and also, “what capacities do you need to scale properly?” So those are some of the questions we’re trying to help them answer so that they can continue to fulfill their mission.
Interviewer: How are you involved at the Bush School?
Cailey: Since coming to the Bush School, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to be a part of two student organizations here on campus. I am the Vice President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals here at the Bush School. The Association of Fundraising Professionals, or AFP, is a global organization. Our collegiate chapter is funded by the Houston chapter and we offer students insight into a world of fundraising and philanthropy. We also give them insights into potential job opportunities for them and AFP in general is an amazing networking opportunity for students in order to find a job that would best fit their skill sets. I’m also an Ambassador for the Bush School. The Bush School Ambassadors is an amazing organization here on campus and, basically, we are fulfilling the legacy of George Bush. We are acting as those liaisons between donors stakeholders and other individuals who come and speak at the Bush School, and we really show the Excellence of what the bush school is for those who are curious.