During his time in the Army, Nicholas Brands held multiple leadership roles and had the opportunity to travel the world. While he appreciates the experience he gained throughout his military commitment, he was drawn to re-enter the civilian workforce. So, Brands enrolled in the USC Price Master of Public Administration (MPA) program online to complement the skills he developed in the Army.
When it came to deciding what he wanted to specialize in, however, Brands admitted he was torn between public administration and business administration. Ultimately, he felt business was “a saturated career field for a lot of transitioning Army officers.”
“I wanted to do something that aligned more with what I was interested in, which naturally was more the government side of things…I felt like that was a more applicable skill set to what my background was in the Army,” he said.
The MPA program online was “more engaging” than he could have expected, and his peers and professors were “incredible and very involved,” according to Brands.
I knew that the USC MPA was one of the top-ranked programs in the country, and the online capability made it a lot easier for me to complete while I was on active duty. I have a very unpredictable job, so I needed something that went along with that. I did the program across three different time zones over the span of about three years, and it was just a very hands-on program for me.
Brands was also appreciative of the support USC offers to military service member and veteran students. As he juggled his work responsibilities and education, he was consistently encouraged by faculty, staff and the rest of the Trojan community.
He is now in the process of voluntarily transitioning out of active duty and Brands knows his MPA degree will be vital for this next step in his career, “I feel like it’s really going to help me get to where I need to go.”
Read the full USC Online story.