Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs


The Master of Public Affairs program provides a dedicated career specialist in the areas of public affairs to coach our students through this professional program. Our director offers an array of services, workshops and resources tailored to each of the students. 

Alex Barba MPA ’18

Alumni and practitioners I met at Brown advised that so-called “soft skills” are essential and underrated. I had some of these skills going into the MPA, but the exercises we completed in class sharpened and honed them, giving me the confidence to take on any project — even in a time of global crisis. —Alex Barba MPA ’18

Career Development Planning

Our careers director conducts a career assessment and development path tailored to each student, including:

  • Coaching on exploring options within the public policy arena;
  • Developing a career vision, from developing an elevator pitch to transitioning into a new career;
  • Mastering tools including goal setting, resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and clinching the offer;
  • Developing on-campus career development, networking, and recruitment programs.

Placement Support and Employer Relations

The Brown MPA Program offers assistance in researching career options and a robust placement support program.  Additional resources available to MPA students include:

  • A database of prospective internships, consultancies, fellowships and employment opportunities in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors;
  • Brown's ongoing development of relationships with prospective employers;
  • On-campus events for prospective employers, internship managers, and alumni.

Our students emerge from the program with the skills and knowledge to solve real-world policy challenges as policy analysts, researchers, and communications professionals in organizations involved in making, analyzing, or implementing public policy — from government and nonprofit organizations to consulting and private sector companies. 

Consultancy Opportunities

Our careers director manages the Policy-In-Action Consultancy program, creating connections and setting up possible placement sites for our students. As part of developing your career plan while at Brown, all MPA students meet with the career specialist to discuss consultancy opportunities and goals.