October 2015 Alumni Spotlight
October Alumni Spotlight with Kenneth Scott, Executive MPA ‘15
It’s always gratifying to hear from an alum who leverages education to further a career and subsequently, the community. Kenneth Scott (Executive MPA ’15; NYC DYCD Operations Analyst) is a perfect example; we speak about the post-Executive MPA career boost, the challenges he’ll face, and how he’ll approach his responsibilities to make an impact.
What are some immediate gains you’ve noticed in your career from this education?
The most immediate gain I received is being promoted from Executive Assistant to the position of Operations Analyst. The initial projects I have been assigned include working with our Information Technology (IT) unit to help revamp our internal “Intranet” interoffice communications system and working with the Deputy Commissioner for Community Development on strategic planning for her program units, including Youth Workforce Development, Immigrant Initiatives, Adult and Adolescent Literacy, and Fatherhood programming among others. I will also be working closely with the Deputy Commissioner for Planning, Program Integration and Education on gathering information and resources that will assist Senior Management with developing best practices on overall program management that will help fulfill the agency mission of funding community based organizations (CBOs) that provide quality services to youth and help build health communities and families throughout the five boroughs.
What are some of the most unique challenges you believe you’ll face as Operations Analyst?
My most immediate challenge will be dealing with all the technical aspects of the new position, such as learning new computer programs or just getting comfortable with a lot of the language I’ll need to know, particularly on the IT front. Communication, particularly when it comes to giving and getting feedback from all types of staff, will play a large part in my new role, and I want to make sure I know what I am talking about when I approach staff about improvements they would like to see at the agency. Along with helping make the Intranet more user-friendly and appealing, I will be asking program management and contract processing staff about improvements they would like to see made on the various computerized methods we have for processing contracts. What is working and what is not? What actually makes your work more difficult, or perhaps improves efficiency? As a liaison between staff and IT I’ll need to be able to communicate both good and bad news clearly and effectively in order for improvements to be made. My experience at Baruch has definitely helped me in this area, as I have become (a bit) more tech-savvy and far more effective at communicating, whether it’s face-to-face, via email, through written correspondence or with the help of a PowerPoint, with both management and line staff. The Executive MPA experience also provided me with a strong background in program evaluation, statistics and public and non-profit management, which has made me much more confident when it comes to tackling Community Development strategic planning and examining programmatic best practices for the future.
What life improvements are you hoping to make for NYC DYCDs end-recipients?
This is a bit complicated as DYCD does not provide direct services like many other City agencies like HRA (Human Resources Administration) or DOE (Department of Education). Our end-recipients are the CBOs that we contract with, like our after-school or workforce development programs that provide services for young people and their families in low-income communities throughout the City. Our end-recipients are also the people who participate in these programs and reap the benefits. By benefits, I not only mean the participants who directly participate in the program, such as a child in an afterschool program or young adult receiving job training. I am also referring to the parents and guardians and other family members who know that their child is in a safe, nourishing, learning environment afterschool, while most parents are still at work. End-recipients can also be, among others, runaway and homeless youth (RHY) who find shelter for a night or longer at one of our funded programs for vulnerable and special needs youth, or women and families seeking help for domestic violence issues, or anyone who calls our Youth Connect hotline for any kind of assistance. As Operations Analyst, I would also classify DYCD staff as end-recipients, as I will be working with them to find more effective and efficient methods to help them achieve their programmatic and contracting goals.