Florida State University Master of Applied American Politics and Policy students hosted a roundtable discussion July 21 with local, state and federal leaders to discuss opportunities for young professionals in the Capital City. Applied educational programs, like the FSU MAAPP program, provide young professionals an opportunity to pursue a graduate degree while advancing in their careers.
“Politics is big business in Tallahassee and for more than 20 years FSU’s MAAPP program has been educating some of the brightest politicos in our state,” said Bob Crew, director of FSU’s MAAPP Program. “We teach students working full-time in the state legislature, executive branches, lobbying, communications and other important areas of the political process, often providing more incentive for these young professionals to pursue lifelong careers in Tallahassee.”
“Tallahassee’s colleges and universities are a rich source of creativity and innovation, and as the Congressman for Florida’s 5th district, I am dedicated to working with academic, city and community leaders to ensure these creative minds have opportunities in our area once they graduate,” Rep. Al Lawson said. “Attracting and retaining young professionals helps foster new ideas and entrepreneurship, which, in turn, benefits Tallahassee’s economy.”
Lawson, Crew, Leon County Commissioner John Dailey, Tallahassee City Commissioner Curtis Richardson, Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals President Brittany Mukadam, Chair of the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Talent Initiative Berneice Cox, Tallahassee Democrat President Skip Foster and FSU students participated in the panel discussion held at City Hall.
“Tallahassee NYP’s mission is to help make our city a great place to live, work, play and stay by highlighting and cultivating some of the great amenities the city has to offer young professionals,” Mukadam said. “I am grateful that so many leaders in our community are focused on efforts to ensure talented young professionals have an opportunity to thrive in the Capital City.”
Tallahassee is home to three colleges and universities, and according to 2010 census data, more than 30,000 residents ages 18 – 25. Recent additions like College Town, enhancements in Midtown and the revamping of the Tallahassee Mall are just a few examples of efforts to attract and retain young professionals. The city and local nonprofits continue to explore innovative ways to grow opportunities for new graduates and young professionals.
The MAAPP program is a terminal Master of Science degree designed for those who seek active careers in a number of political fields: Campaigns, Fundraising, Political Communications, Lobbying, Legislative Affairs, etc. Unlike the traditional graduate program in Political Science, which is designed for individuals with career paths in academia and research, MAAPP offers practical experience and a diverse set of skills for those interested in careers as political operatives. Florida State University’s MAAPP program has two distinct advantages over other political science programs of this type: flexible enrollment options including evening courses for students holding full-time jobs during the day, and the significant political networks available due to our location in Tallahassee, the capital city of the third-largest state in the U.S.