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Featured Alum Interview

Nicholas Schilligo, School of Public Service Alum

Nicholas Schillago
Director of Government Relations

How did having a degree from DePaul's School of Public Service help you advance your career or help you start a career in the area of public service/public administration?
My degree from MPS allowed me to stand out from the competition and demonstrate added value—advanced skills and expertise in non-profit management, public policy analysis and strategy development.

Looking back at your time at DePaul, what did you feel was the most valuable experience or aspect of your program?
I felt challenged on several levels, from learning how to be a better writer and researcher to understanding the value of making connections with industry professionals in the Chicagoland area. Overall, I feel like the program provided me with the tools and resources needed to help meet the ongoing needs of a constantly evolving organization.

Can you help describe how being so connected to the City of Chicago had a positive impact on your academic and overall learning experience as a graduate student?
Chicago is a wonderful city, with many offerings and a tremendously diverse population. This provides a wonderful backdrop for the graduate school experience, particularly those looking to focus their career in public service. In addition the cultural offerings, the size of the city and number of non-profit organizations housed here provides opportunities for students to apply their newly learned skills to real-world problems by working with small, but very impactful organizations. These organizations may not have the resources needed to hire experts to assist in overcoming challenges; this can be a very rewarding experience, but also one that provides students with a chance to hone their skills and gain the experience needed to qualify for employment when they complete their degree.

How has the DePaul alumni network or faculty connections continued to help you in your career?
The alumni network has allowed me to remain in contact with peers and colleagues that are focused on addressing public needs. This networking allows for sharing of information and best practices, and provides the relationships that are sometimes needed to get your foot in the door at a potential employer.

In your opinion, why should a prospective student seriously consider enrolling in DePaul’s School of Public Service?
I think it's a program that stands out for its commitment to public service, global learning and mission-driven leadership.​