Graduate students Caroline Neidhold, Andrew Brown and Angela Smith are spending the summer as student trainees in the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Atlanta regional location. GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” the agency investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.
The classmates, armed with a solid academic background in public management and policy along with their passion to work in the public sector, are doing management and analysis work for the GAO.
Neidhold holds a bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in nonprofit management from the Indiana University-Bloomington. She spent several years working in the hospitality field before coming to Georgia State.
“I wanted to get more into nonprofit management, and that’s why I chose to come to Georgia State University to pursue my M.P.A. from the Andrew Young School,” says Neidhold, who also has a strong interest in criminal justice. After working as an intern for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Neidhold said she wanted to transition and seek opportunities on the federal side.
“I believe working at the GAO will satisfy my desire to see the management side of the federal government,” she says. “Plus, the GAO is one of the top 20 places to work in the country.”
Brown, also an M.P.A. student, says he came to the Andrew Young School because he wanted to do something for people; hence his volunteer work with Catholic Charities and the Refugee Resettlement project. He holds bachelor’s degrees in sociology and social work from Georgia State.
“I am also drawn to the public sector,” he says. “I was attracted to the GAO because I want to learn more about management analyses and get some real world experience in statistics and research. I want to get to the truth of policy-related issues.”
Smith received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Berry College. She worked in human resources for Leadership Development International before joining the Andrew Young School as an M.P.P. major.
“Working at the GAO will provide me with a wider breadth of experience and develop my interest in research and analysis,” says Smith, who has taught English in Burma and volunteered for the International Rescue League. “I am very interested in working in international development research.”
All three students hope that their GAO experience this summer will lead to possible employment opportunities once they graduate.