At SPPUA’s Professional Networking Forum last February, MPA student Ellie Rosen made a connection that forever changed the course of her career.
Rosen, a direct care professional who aspires to create systemic change for underserved populations, met MPA alumnus Nick Dantzer, then chief financial officer at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). Dantzer arranged a meeting between Rosen and Marylou Sudders, the state’s secretary of health and human services, and two days later Rosen received an offer she could not pass up: a four-month internship at EOHHS.
“Through this internship, I gained experience that will pave the path for my professional development in the administrative world,” said Rosen, who is the 2017 recipient of the Fishman Fellowship, an internal SPPUA program that allowed her to complete the unpaid summer internship. “Every single minute that I was in the executive office was an invaluable learning experience.”
Rosen’s first task was to obtain data from a medication administration program for drug addicted women. She then worked on a plan to improve statewide non-emergency medical transportations, and she participated in a medication intake project.
Robert Jones, EOHHS’s deputy chief of staff, said Rosen displayed tremendous capacity for completing assigned responsibilities, as well as flexibility and enthusiasm to take on additional tasks.
“While she came in with specific background and experience in direct care, Ellie’s intellectual curiosity opened up opportunities for her to learn and work on topics she was unfamiliar with,” Jones said. “This characteristic is a true asset in the workplace, particularly at EOHHS where we comprehensively oversee the extensive scope of services for health and human services across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
According to Jones, Rosen demonstrated professionalism beyond her years especially when she was able to balance her passion for a particular policy topic with practicality to what resources are available and the appropriate role for the state.
“The ability to examine the topic analytically and without allowing a preconceived opinion and biases affect the analysis, is a valuable skill for those who seek to be effective and produce real results in careers they are most passionate about,” Jones said. “Our office was very pleased with Ellie’s performance and we look forward to see how her career develops.”
When asked to describe her internship, Rosen simply said “enlightening,” adding that she got a taste for what it’s like to work at an office that oversees 13 agencies which compile a $22 billion budget.
“It was so enlightening for me because it was very grounding,” she said. “There’s so much experience to gain before I can get to where I want to be. I see myself making big change.”
Rosen hopes to break the poverty cycle. And this semester she is one of seven SPPUA students who are working with the Boston Foundation on an income inequality and social mobility project that aims at determining the root cause of Boston’s wealth gap.
“Northeastern is known for the success of its graduates, and I’m seeing why so clearly being in this program,” she said. “The Networking Forum is something that you dream of, and it just worked perfectly because of an alum who is very successful and willing to help current students. I’m learning in a way that I’ve never learned or been challenged prior to being in graduate school.”