Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Alessio Faiella

Alessio Faiella, MPA ’17

Operations Specialist, General Assembly

How did the MPA prepare you for your job?

General Assembly, which began in 2011 as a co-sharing space, now has campuses in 20 cities and more than 35,000 graduates worldwide. As an operations specialist, I work on every type of operational workflow imaginable; I now have experience in finance, product design, human resources, and more. Currently I’m focusing on making General Assembly compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and developing internal and external policies related to privacy and cyber security. The skills I learned in the MPA program accelerated my career so that I’m now well-positioned to present myself as a mid-level professional.

At Brown, I learned the soft public policy and hard technical skills and how they are interrelated and gained the confidence to apply those skills in the technology world. One of the program’s strengths is providing the tools and opportunity to craft your own policy concentration. One elective, Introduction to Intermediate Economics in Multivariate Democracies, fleshed out my thinking about problem solving and about how taxes and finance impact everyone’s lives.

Where did you work during your MPA consultancy?

I worked in the Federal Communications Commission’s Bureau of Homeland Security, where I focused on researching open source products, which are often subject to hacking, and the security of those products. The MPA prepared me to produce polished, finished work products. I leaned hard on the statistics and economics training from the MPA to complete a research assignment that focused on the international telecommunications market, where the biggest market share was and what different countries were doing in the regulatory space.

The program’s communications and professional development skills are very important, too. They enabled me to have poise and confidence in a roomful of seasoned engineers and attorneys and know that what I have to say adds value.

How does your work contribute to the Common Good?

Many of our students’ testimonials demonstrate that our classes are life-changing for them, and our classes -- coding, web design, niche computer skills -- teach skills students need to be successful in an evolving economy and in the future. Our social impact team works with large corporations to get scholarship funding so low-income or disadvantaged individuals or groups can take classes at a significantly reduced cost or free of charge.

January 2018