Alumni Spotlight: Brian McFadden

MPA Alumnus Brian McFadden completed his Master of Public Administration at Villanova University (‘14) where he was a member of Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society and the ICMA Student Chapter. Brian is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University (’10) with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration with minor concentrations in Political Science and Music. He can be contacted at bmcfadden@septa.org or 215-580-3166.

We asked Brian a few questions about his career and experience in the MPA program. Check it out!

___________________________________________________________________________

What are you up to now?

I work for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) as a Management Analyst in the Capital Budget & Grant Development Department. My department creates and manages the annual $500 million capital budget while also obtaining and monitoring the grant funds that support capital projects. My responsibilities include preparing, maintaining, and monitoring the federal, state, and local grants that fund our capital improvement program. It is a very rewarding job because I get to be a part of so many projects that are transforming and improving the transportation network of the Philadelphia region.

How did your Villanova MPA degree help you to get where you currently are in your career?

My Villanova MPA degree started paying dividends even before I finished the program. Because of the practical nature of the curriculum, I was able to apply the lessons I learned in the classroom to my job immediately. Furthermore, the MPA and more specifically the Financial Management and Analysis & Research courses honed my analytical skills and directly impacted my career by enabling me to land the position I have today with SEPTA. I actually used my course project from Financial Management as the required writing and financial analysis sample in my interview.

Overall, each class in the MPA program helped me get to where I am today, and will continue to help me every day throughout my career. One of the greatest aspects of the Villanova MPA is the foundation balanced in both the art and science of our field. Understanding and applying both sides of public administration will help us all advance in our careers because we will have the analytical and managerial skills to identify problems, develop solutions, put plans into action, and review outcomes. The Villanova MPA gives each of us the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to become effective leaders in public service.

What advice do you have for current MPA students?

The Villanova MPA program is just like many other things in life: you have to put a lot in, to get a lot out. In order to maximize your investment, you have to fully commit to every class and every assignment. Obviously, this can be very difficult to achieve because everybody juggles so many different things. I would challenge every MPA student to try your best to avoid as many distractions as possible whenever you are doing school work. Every class and every assignment is an opportunity for you to increase your knowledge, skills, and abilities in the field you have chosen to master. Your professors and classmates have incredible knowledge and experience to share, and your time at Villanova will be over before you know it. Take advantage of every opportunity the professors, staff, and students present to you. If I could do it all over again, I would try harder to learn even more than I did from professors, classmates, and assignments.

Do you have any special talents or hobbies?

My fiancée and I are both classically trained singers. Suzanne and I perform at weddings and various events all over the Philadelphia area. We met while singing together in our undergraduate college choir. I am so very lucky to be able to do something I love with the person I love.

Brian McFadden Alum Spotlight