Attending the Harvard Kennedy School of Government via the Bradford Fellowship was a defining period in both my personal and professional life. Personally, I have gained a level of confidence and an international network of friends that is sure to last a lifetime. Professionally, I have filled my public administrator's toolbox with new concepts and the practical skills necessary to carry them out in ways that will make my work more effective, satisfying, and measurable.
While at HKS I focused my studies in the areas of negotiation, performance leadership and, due to my work on behalf of children, global and national perspectives on health, human services and education. I complimented this focus with classes on public finance, the political process and the role of the press in today's era of new media. For the personal satisfaction of it, outside of class I took advantage of a writing group, countless discussion forums and a non-credited series on group management. These experiences have caused me to look more intensely at my work. I have a new understanding of the value of preparation. I understand my strengths and weaknesses in negotiation. I have learned that finding something to count is a powerful tool in performance management and that finding the right thing to count can be harder than one at first might imagine.
I continue to have access to the resources of the University and my network of classmates is a constant source of inspiration, support and new ideas. The Bradford Fellowship is a gift that I will forever cherish. I have challenged myself and expanded my view of my work and the world in which I do it. I have professors and classmates in various aspects of public administration the world over on whom I can rely. As an alum, I have a place that I can return to for continued reflection and learning. I highly recommend public managers to consider applying. Do so, however, only if you are truly willing to commit and desirous of the results that the hard work of an intense year will yield.