I am passionate about leadership and serving my community.
My first job after undergrad was in investment banking, specifically energy trading. While my background in economics served me well in that job, I did not feel fulfilled or that I was positively impacting society. Growing up, I had been a volunteer fire fighter, and I had friends who had pursued full time careers with police and fire departments. Hearing their stories and seeing the satisfaction they felt working to help others inspired me.
When I was a child, I saw a woman get mugged as she left the grocery store and I felt helpless as a middle school-er, unable to do anything. Later in life, I had the opportunity to do something: I became a police officer. Now, having served in law enforcement for almost 15 years, the specifics of the job and environment have certainly evolved. We do not just “serve and protect,” but we try and interact with the community, put a name to the badge. Now more than ever, I feel this is a vital part of every community and I am thankful I have a part in that.
Throughout my career as a police officer, I have served in a few different roles, from working a patrol beat, to being a school resource officer, to participating in union and city negotiations. Moving forward, I aspire to be promoted and eventually have an administrative role to help shape the future of my department. I felt a master’s degree in public administration would give me the skill set I need to be able to effectively serve in such a role. When comparing programs, the MPAL degree through the Glenn College at Ohio State stood out because it had leadership as a cornerstone of the curriculum. Not only do students learn the fundamentals of administration within the public sector such as budgeting and contracts, but they are also taught what good leadership entails.
Having been exposed to multiple facets of public administration with professors who have real world experience has been beneficial. While engaged in the MPAL program I have been promoted to detective within the Rochester Police Department. This is certainly a step in the direction I hoped to head, and I feel that the MPAL program has given me a great foundation to be successful in my goals.
Blake Petty is a student in the Master of Public Administration and Leadership (Online MPAL) program. He is passionate about serving his community and working toward a leadership role in his department in the Rochester, NY police department where he can shape the future of public safety.