One of the things that I love about the field of Public Administration is the fact that there is such a diversity of experience and expertise across the discipline. As a Master’s of Public Administration candidate, I took classes with police officers, health care administrators, city administrators, and all manner of public employees. We all took the same core classes, but because of our varied careers, we all brought different experiences to the table.
In my work, I have had the opportunity to work with demographers, engineers, telephone network engineers, transportation experts, and more, all in the pursuit of making life better for our constituents. I am exposed to many different fields of expertise on a daily basis – all public administration practitioners.
My gardening hobby recently gave me the opportunity to meet another, very different kind of public administrator. This past Friday I attended a talk about the history of victory gardens in the United States and the place victory gardens have in the modern day. Rose Hayden-Smith, the speaker, is a practicing U.S. historian and Director of the Ventura County, California/University of California Extension Service. While our fields of expertise and range of experiences are quite different, it is easy to see that our passion for public service is much the same.
Much like people in general, no two public administrators have the same experiences. Our experiences as people and as public administrators are what make us good at what we do. Our diverse experiences and expertise are what make our government work.