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“Transportation Policy: My link to a Future Career in the Public Sector” – by Brian Alberts

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Since the day I was born, transportation became a way of life. Growing
up in Phoenix, I became accustomed to travelling expanses of desert to

visit family in California and Colorado. The west was my home and with

states being so geographically removed, it was necessary that I fly to

almost any destination. I boarded my first airplane at three-months-old

and ever since I feel like I have spent my entire life in a plane. To

confirm even more cross-country flights, years later I decided to attend

college in Boston. After spending a summer at Harvard University, I

knew Boston was the place for me. Boston University was an amazing,

albeit chilly, decision and the experiences I gained from completing

dual degrees in Political Science and Communications will stick with me

for life. One political science class, Introduction to Public Policy,

spurred my interest in the subject and gave me an understanding of how

public policy works in this country. I became more passionate

throughout the semester, and it made me realize I wanted to move to

Washington, D.C. where vital policy decisions are made on a daily basis.

Transportation policy specifically became my central interest and that

is what enticed me to eventually seek employment at my current company,

the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

(AASHTO).



Starting at AASHTO I knew very little about transportation policy and

funding in the United States. However, after two years of hands-on

experience in the field and attending House Transportation and

Infrastructure Committee Hearings, meetings with congressional staff,

and presenting at conferences throughout the country, it has truly

become a way of life. As a student at George Washington University

(GWU), I will not only be able to participate in class discussions, but

will also bring real world experiences to the table.



As a student at GWU, I hope to gain quantitative as well as empirical

knowledge in the field of public policy and apply that knowledge through

my work with State Departments of Transportation. On a daily basis, I

work with transit directors throughout the country and facilitate policy

discussions for AASHTO. The knowledge I gain from the Master of Public

Policy program will be beneficial in helping make important legislative

decisions and will allow me to communicate with all of my members

throughout the country more effectively.



In the future, I hope to continue to work in the transportation and

public sector. Through leadership as Vice Chair for Membership in the

Young Professionals in Transportation association, I have gained

numerous contacts in the field which may help me move into other public

sector positions. Further, I hope to stay in the Washington, D.C. area.

The hands-on experience one gains from being in the nation’s capitol

affords opportunities that no other place in the country can provide. I

hope to continue my academic, research and career pursuits in D.C. and

to one day work for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in making

policy decisions for the entire country at-large.

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