Please describe your new position. What does your day-to day look like?

The Smart City PHL team at the City of Philadelphia works with departments to understand whether different technology programs can help solve issues and develops pilot programs with various technologies.  Smart City PHL is part of the Innovation Management team in the city's Office of Innovation and Technology that works with departments to come up with innovative solutions with the ultimate goal of improving city processes, training, and spaces.

As the Smart City Coordinator, my role is to see pilot programs through implementation and evaluation.  My days are dynamic and involve anything from inter-agency coordination, leading task force meetings, reviewing consultant bids, managing project development, and developing evaluation metrics to understand how pilot projects can be implemented on a larger scale. 

How do you feel like the MPP program helps you in your new role?

The MPP program has been an invaluable asset to my career at the City and in the role as the Smart City Coordinator. My coursework has helped me develop critical analysis skills, including analyzing problems, developing innovative, need-based solutions, and coming up with systems that evaluation the proposed solution's impact. Beyond class content, I enjoy the opportunity to learn with my peers. Temple's MPP program has a mix of full-time students and part-time students, various educational experiences, and people who have worked in the public and private sector. With such a diverse array of experiences, class discussions are fruitful and thought-provoking.

How do you balance your schoolwork with your job responsibilities? 

Working full time while attending school part time is challenging, but it has allowed me to apply the skills and knowledge I gain in the program. I am a planner, so I dedicate time blocks to accomplish tasks. I leave one weekend day for writing and try to do research and reading related tasks during the week, since I usually have more brain capacity and focus on the weekends than after work. It's important, too, to make sure you have a balance - I am always surprised at what a few hours or a day away from work and school does to restore my focus!