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Home > For Students > MPA/MPP Alumni > Alumni in Europe

Roxana Zyman

Uniting Nations Through Economic Progress

ppp Job Title:

United Nations

MPA; Public Administration; 2000
State University of New York, Albany

Home Country:

What do you enjoy about your job? What aspects of your job are the most exciting or interesting?
As a consultant for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, I enjoy the fact that I work on a large variety of issues, and I hone my technical expertise and my understanding of the application of public administration and development principles to specific country conditions. I have the chance to work with inspiring prominent professionals with diverse backgrounds in a multi-cultural environment, I organize and service intergovernmental meetings and I have interesting opportunities to create partnerships with the civil society, the private sector, academia and governments. This means a wealth of extraordinary professional experience. The most exciting aspect of my job is that I pursue my passion for international development and employ my expertise to make a positive difference in global policy-making.

Why did you choose to pursue an MPA/MPP degree?
When I chose to pursue an MPA, I was already working in the public sector as a researcher with the Ministry of Trade in Romania, and I was very committed to make a significant contribution in the public sector. I needed to develop my expertise in public administration and acquire the necessary skills which would enable me to make the best decisions on significant governance issues at the national level and further on to make a positive difference in promoting good governance and development worldwide. Studying public administration at the graduate level was the most appropriate first step towards this goal.

How did you select your graduate school?
I selected the Nelson A. Rockefeller Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) because of its good reputation in preparing students for successful careers in the public service through an excellent balance between academic courses and practical experience. The Master of Public Administration Program at the University at Albany focuses on the intellectual foundations of public administration, its environment, and skills used by public officials. It is a school for motivated individuals who are committed to making a real difference in the public service, to overcoming obstacles inherent to a career in public affairs, to advocating and inspiring changes that will help people build a better life. On the top of this, I went to study in Albany to benefit from the contact with New York State Government officials, to understand the work of the government of such an important state, and to better shape my career identity. In choosing the most appropriate graduate school, I also benefited from the professional advice and generous financial support of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which awarded me a Ron Brown fellowship. My advice for others who are interested in studying at the Rockefeller Graduate School of Public Affairs is that, at the beginning of the program, they should try to personalize their cluster of academic courses and internships to match their individual interests. They can engage, in a mutually reinforcing way, the academic study and professional practice of public administration to best suit their individual career plans. In my case, benefiting from the suggestions of my academic adviser and the school’s career center, I applied for and completed an internship with the New York State Government in Albany and one summer internship at the United Nations in New York. I also chose the most inciting courses and I am very thankful because this great combination of studies and practical training led me to a satisfying career.

How do you feel your MPA/MPP is helping you to make a difference?
The Rockefeller Graduate School of Public Affairs enabled me to make the most of my experience in policy analysis and public administration, to learn more about the world we live in and even about myself. It taught me how important it is to continue to grow personally and professionally and to identify remarkable challenges and opportunities that would allow me to pursue my professional interests. The solid knowledge that I acquired during my MPA studies remains an important intellectual framework for me. Besides the academic knowledge, the skills which I developed during my MPA, particularly effective communication, working in groups, and career management, have proved to be very useful in the real professional life. I bring a little bit of the knowledge and skills that I acquired in Albany wherever I go. After being awarded an MPA at SUNY Albany (2000), I returned to my native country, Romania, and held several positions in the government working as an expert in international affairs for two Presidents of Romania as well as a Romanian diplomat to the United Nations in New York. I contributed to the improvement of Romania’s cooperation for international development by negotiating bilateral and multilateral documents, writing focused statements and reports, successfully preparing official presidential visits to numerous countries, bilateral/trilateral meetings with foreign heads of state and government, and participation in global summits. As a member of the Romanian delegation to the United Nations Security Council for two years (2004-2005), I had the extraordinary opportunity to provide relevant expertise to the UN Security Council working groups and committees meetings, negotiate Security Council resolutions and presidential statements, participate in the formulation of possible strategies, policies and actions for adoption by individual countries and/or the international community on conflict prevention, and participate in peace building and good governance. I am very proud of this work, which has given me the satisfaction of being part of the UN Security Council, an accurate clock working system that delivered outcomes with professionalism, integrity and personal commitment. This is how I succumbed to the lure of international civil service, and I returned in 2006 to work as a consultant for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Working for the UN, embracing its values and ideals, promoting conditions of economic and social progress and development worldwide is the best thing I have done so far.

How would you characterize your personality?
* Team Worker *Rigorous * Good under pressure * Compassionate * Creative * Persistent * Organized * Committed * Flexible * Fast-paced * Curious * Detail oriented * Independent * People Person * Diplomatic * Driven * Courageous * Analytical * Service-oriented *

Contact Roxana Pana with questions regarding her graduate experience:
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