Widely traveled alumna Nicole Carr (MPA ’00) is dedicated to serving people through the power of public administration. Learn how her upbringing – along with her experience at Baruch College – influenced her successful career.
Carr grew up in an army/navy family, which required her to constantly move across the country, from the East Coast to the Midwest and, finally, to the West Coast where her parents settled in California. She found this unique upbringing interesting. “I feel like I’ve seen so much of the United States!” she says, an experience that allowed her to get a sense of the vastly different neighborhoods and cultures of the USA, which would serve her well down the line.
Although Carr was living in California, she made the decision to come to New York City for her MPA at Baruch as a National Urban Fellow, allowing her to work in a public sector organization while implementing the tools and curriculum she was learning at the College. In particular, she was attracted to how Baruch’s program encouraged her to learn the internal workings of government.
Not long after graduating, she accepted an opportunity as a federal investigator for the U.S. District Court, helping in particular with translating.
“I was a Spanish speaker and gained fluency living in Spain for a couple of years,” Carr explains. “When I returned back to the States, I was able to secure a position as a federal investigator investigating immigration crimes, felonies, things of that sort.”
From interpreter to staff investigator to assistant deputy director, Carr continued to climb the ladder. She decided to move back to California because she felt she could have the greatest impact there and eventually was appointed human resources director for the California Department of Social Services.
“There was a need for government innovation,” she explains, “and there were so many processes that I felt like I could contribute greatly to.”
Reflecting on her years at Baruch, Carr says her education transformed her into someone who is confident and capable of leading public service organizations. She says, “The education at Baruch empowers students and inspires them to lead their lives with passion and purpose.”