Advancing Successful Careers in Public Service

The Evans School Career Development team serves as a bridge between students and employers, finding opportunities for students to work with industry leaders by applying skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world challenges.  

Relevant professional experience is critical to every student’s ability to craft their career and secure employment after graduation. The Career Development team works with students in a variety of ways to ensure they have the experience and network needed for an impactful career in public service. From your first day of class until one year after you graduate, we are here for you. 

Shannon Merchant

Director of Career Development

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Mellanie Tanada

Assistant Director of Career Development

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High Impact Careers

The Evans School gathers employment information each year over the six months following June graduation. Our new annual employment report is released each year in early Spring.  

Expansive Alumni Network

As a strong and reputable presence in the Pacific Northwest for more than 60 years, the Evans School is trusted and deeply embedded throughout the public, private, and nonprofit organizations across the Pacific Northwest and beyond 

The Evans School’s alumni network spans across 6 continents, 56 countries, 49 U.S. states and territories, and 684 cities around the world. Our growing global network more than 5,000 alumni working for organizations including the City of Seattle, the Obama Foundation, the Washington State Department of Ecology, Mathematica Policy Research and more. Our alumni regularly change jobs and advance, so LinkedIn is the best way to see exactly what they are doing now.  

View the Evans School’s LinkedIn page to explore our alumni network by location, organization, skills, and more! 

Cross-Sector Employment Partners

The Career Development team is dedicated to not only maintaining a strong network of employers, but also expanding it. As the career interests of students evolve each year, we target organizations and policy areas of interest to incoming Evans School students, creating new partnerships and opportunities for engagement and employment. 

Career Exploration and Networking Programs – Each quarter, Evans School Career Development offers free events designed to familiarize students with the employment landscape, to network with professionals, and to enhance professional development skills that will serve graduates beyond their time at the Evans School. Programs vary, but typically include alumni panels, networking events, on-site employer informational interview sessions, policy talks, career planning classes or seminars, and online workshops.

Individual Career Coaching – Students at the Evans School are assigned a career advisor for the duration of their time at the Evans School. This allows students to build a strong relationship with their advisor and take advantage of consistent support in a variety of professional development areas, including identifying career interests and goals, generating job or internship leads, connecting with appropriate resources, providing feedback, and coaching on application materials, preparing for interviews, providing networking referrals, and salary negotiation support.

Note: The Evans School does not provide job or internship placement services, and students are ultimately responsible for finding a professional experience that meets their interests and experience.

Updated Job Listings – Currently enrolled students and alumni have access to EvansJobs, the Evans School’s exclusive hub for full-time, part-time, contract and internship positions. This system provides a central space for Evans students to search open listings, schedule a career advising appointment, report a professional experience (including internships, part-time and full-time employment, RA/GA/TA positions, consulting, etc.), manage paperwork for tracking 400-hour professional experience requirement, and register for upcoming career events and workshops.

Career development at the Evans School is grounded in breaking down the barrier between classroom theory and the real world. Classroom projects become real world projects, and we develop strong partnerships with the region’s top employers to help students work across disciplines to design solutions that have impact.

Student Consulting Lab – A unique Evans School program, the Student Consulting Lab is a hands-on, immersive experience that serves as the capstone to the MPA degree program. Second-year students work under faculty supervision in small consulting teams on client-proposed projects. Students work 10-12 hours per week for a period of five months (January – May) to produce program evaluations, strategic plans, policy analyses, and new program proposals for 40+ nonprofits and public agencies. This hands-on experience is built into the MPA curriculum and provides at least five months of additional professional experience that every MPA graduate may add to their resume and portfolio of work.

Review the full list of 2021 Student Consulting Lab projects, or read a selection of final capstone reports below.

400-hour Professional Experience Requirement – As a component of their professional graduate degree, Evans School MPA students are required to complete 400-hours of professional experience (paid or unpaid) if they do not bring at least 2 years of relevant full-time professional experience prior to entering the program. Gaining professional experience is a cornerstone of the Evans School MPA program because it allows students to apply classroom skills in professional settings. This applied experience directly supports career goals, increases competitiveness in the post-graduation job market, and increases skill proficiency in policy development, implementation, or evaluation.

This degree requirement must be fulfilled through one of the following options:

  • 400-hours of professional experience completed during time in the program. Professional experiences may include graduate internships, research, working in part-time or full-time employment opportunities, consulting, or other as discussed with Career Development staff.
  • 2 years of full-time professional experience using substantive analytical or managerial skills completed prior to entrance into MPA program.

Career Development staff evaluates all incoming student applications and will inform students of their official status prior to or during their first quarter in the program.

Many students work or intern at least part-time while attending graduate school. Students may choose to work during the academic year, but most students seek a graduate-level internship or work experience during the summer between their first and second year in the MPA program.

The Evans School makes a concerted effort to encourage employers to offer paid internships; in fact, since 2018 more than 70% of internships secured by Evans MPA students have been paid opportunities. If a student accepts an unpaid summer internship, they may be eligible to apply for internship fellowship funding through the Evans School. Note: funding is limited and cannot be guaranteed.

It is important to remember that students pursue a variety of experience opportunities, not only internships, while at the Evans School. In addition to internships, students may complete research, part-time or full-time employment, and consulting in order to gain skills and complete the 400-hour professional experience graduation requirement.

With hundreds of Evans School internships completed each year, the opportunities encompass a wide variety stretching from Policy or Legislative Intern positions to those on a specific team, like Standard Work Initiative Intern or Water and Wastewater Education and Outreach Intern. Others may be related to an MPA skill area such as Procurement Intern, Contracts Intern, Budget & Policy Intern, or Performance Audit Intern. And other agencies may simply use a more generalized title like Student Trainee or Research Analyst when bringing an Evans School intern onto their team.

To see specifics of where current Evans School students are interning, visit the Evans School LinkedIn Alumni page, and edit the graduation years so that you can see the profiles for students currently enrolled at Evans.