Alumni Spotlight: LaTasha Smith

LaTasha_Smith_Headshot

 

 

 

 

LaTasha Smith

Director of Communications

National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta, GA)

 

 

 

 

 

What was your area of study at Northeastern?

I graduated in May 2012 from the Master’s in Public Administration program.

 

Why did you choose to study at the School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs (SPPUA)?

I applied to the Public Administration program at Northeastern because I was impressed with the caliber of faculty at the institution. The faculty represented diverse professional backgrounds and they were able to present and speak to their real world experiences in the field. I appreciated that.

 

For your particular career, and perhaps current job, which courses provided you with the most applicable skills?

I really enjoyed the MURP program evaluation course. I find outcomes measurement and evaluation critical to almost every role of the institutions I currently work with and have worked with in the past.

 

Where did you intern while enrolled in the program? What did you do and learn while there?

I interned with a nonprofit organization that I found on Idealist.org called FUELeducation, and I was later hired full time as the manager of communications.

I worked closely with the organization’s program and development department to build awareness toward their work in and around college education reform and financial literacy. I helped develop marketing materials and build the organization’s brand presence in the Boston community.

 

Did your internship experience impact / guide the rest of your studies and your job prospects?

Yes, I focused a lot of my coursework around FUEL’s work and logic model – especially in my economic and program / policy analysis courses. FUEL did a lot of work to promote and advocate for improved scholarship models in Massachusetts, so I tailored some of my coursework around that to help deepen my value to the organization.

 

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Further your experience in the program by interning in your field of interest, meet with professionals and establish relationships with other students in the program. Also, join a few community groups or student organizations.

If I hadn’t done those things I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of the program as I did. My work outside of the classroom complimented my experience at Northeastern very well.

 

What you do in your current position?

As the Director of Communications I’m responsible for developing and implementing integrated marketing and communications programs for the Center. I manage the Center’s press and media relations, plan and edit collateral materials, and I distribute thought-leadership. In addition I manage the Center’s national web and new media presence.

The new Center will open in Downtown Atlanta this Spring and was recently featured as one of the City’s attractions in The New York Times’ list of ‘52 Places to Go in 2014.’ I most recently helped develop the organization’s brand identity and am managing the Center’s communications as we near our grand opening.

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