PCDE Student Stories | Thais Boland

Professional Experience Highlights:

  • 10+ years of experience in Sales/Customer Service including managerial experience
  • 10+ years of experience in Human Resource functions such as recruiting, hiring, personnel development, performance reviews, coaching & mentoring, compensation and succession planning activities.
  • Knowledgeable in reviewing and implementing organizational policies and procedures. 
  • Department of General Services Safety Committee Member
  • Certified Six Sigma Green Belt
  • Experience with OSHA Safety Audits and DOT Compliance

Where are you from? Sao Paulo, Brazil

What year are you graduating? 2019

What is your program/major? Master in Public Administration, M.P.A.

What are your future career goals?
My career goal is to continue to expand my knowledge and understanding of the processes, laws and regulations affecting the decisions made by the public sector to better serve our community and advance in my career with the Commonwealth of PA. 

Internship Experience: N/A
a. What is/was your role and responsibilities?
b. How did you choose this internship?
c. What will you take away from this experience that you can apply to your future career?
d. What have you learned throughout your Shippensburg University education that has been most helpful during your internship?

How has Shippensburg University prepared you for your future?
I am fairly new to the MPA program but the few classes that I have taken so far have helped me tremendously in my current job. I work for the Department of General Services in the Space Management Division and I am constantly in contact with other agencies about different projects and funding of these projects. As an example, the Intergovernmental Relations class helped me understand the way federal and state funding play a role in these projects.  Every class has added to my daily activities at work in different ways and I look forward to finishing the program knowing there is so much more to learn.

Did you have previous experience, knowledge, or background in the content area of your chosen program
Yes, I had 4 years of work experience in the public sector as a Commonwealth employee. Since the majority of my career was spent in the private sector, I decided to enroll in the MPA program to better understand the public sector world.

What surprised you in taking some of the courses?
There were no surprises. I enrolled in the MPA program knowing that there was hard work involved.

Did you have any difficulty getting through your coursework once you were enrolled in your program?
At first, I was a little overwhelmed with the workload but knew I needed to adapt to the new student life and find time in my busy schedule to read and work on assignments. But once I was able to adjust and become more familiar with the assignments, requirements and expectations, the coursework became more manageable and easier to handle. 

How do you plan to use your certificate, degree, or new knowledge and experience?

Can you share a professional goal of yours? My goal is to continue to seek career advancement opportunities with the Commonwealth of PA and to use my degree to help improve current systems and processes that could become more efficient by eliminating waste and utilizing current resources.

Any tips for future students?

The hard work we put into our education and the education itself is something that no one can take away from us. Sometimes we have to choose between finishing a project or going to the movies with friends. There will be sleepless nights and missed parties, but remember that the end result is worth the time. A college degree comes with temporary sacrifices made during a short period of time to accomplish something that makes us better and prepares us for the rest of our lives. 

Any favorite courses, experiences, or faculty moments you’d like to share?

My favorite course so far was my very first one in the MPA program which was Organization Theory with Dr. Bailey. I was extremely excited on my first day but yet nervous since I had been out of school for so long and I did not know what to expect. Definitely enjoyed the topic and he made it very interesting with class discussions at the end of each class.

Professional Accomplishments & Accolades: 
Public Sector:
While working for the Department of General Services as a Claims Division Chief, I was responsible for updating and implementing new policies and procedures involving the Commonwealth fleet vehicles and drivers to reduce accident costs and increase driver safety awareness.  

Private Sector: 
As a Service Manager in the uniform industry, I lead a team of six Service Sales Representatives and one Service Training Coordinator to receiving the Peak Performance Award and ranking second in the Northeast region for Cintas Corporation.