Justin Schultz

Current Role: Regulatory Manager
Current Organization: Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC
Graduate Year: 2021

Can you describe your professional background prior to entering American University's MPAP program?

County government, renewable fuels, and military

What motivated you to advance your education in the field of public administration and policy?

I intend to continue climbing the political ladder and seek higher office, so the program was a natural fit to gain more knowledge in public administration and policy.

Why did you choose American University's MPAP program over other public administration graduate programs?

I was in Washington, D.C. and I decided to do a campus visit. I fell in love with the atmosphere and, after having one-on-one discussions with Dr. Sonja Walti, I knew this was going to be the best program for me.

How did your career change following graduation?

I was able to apply new knowledge and skills toward all three of my careers and it has allowed me to advance my understanding of difficult policy topics and make well-informed decisions.

Currently, I am in the middle of my second term as a county supervisor, but intend to pursue state-level and eventually federal-level congressional office.

What features of AU's MPAP program had the most value to you?

Since the program was online, it allowed me to work around my busy schedule with work and family.

How did your instructors add value to the courses?

The instructors were very understanding of our personal lives and made sure to make necessary accommodations when needed. All of them were proficient in their fields of expertise and it was great to have them as resources during our course of instruction.

Describe how a specific course, assignment, or instructor helped you prepare for your desired career?

In 2021, our county finance officer left Pottawattamie County to pursue another opportunity, which left our budget process in utter chaos. We were pressed against a State of Iowa deadline and I would argue that the course on Budgeting & Financial Management with Professor Al Hyde really gave me the confidence to take on the budget and produce a summary for the state auditor.

Proud to say that we finished on time and were able to lower the tax levy for our county! Truth is, throughout every course in the program I was able to take key aspects and apply them to varying degrees of my three careers (Army National Guard, county government, and renewable fuels).

If an individual were considering entering American University's MPAP program and asked your opinion, what would you tell them?

American University is a fantastic place to continue your education. The programs are rigorous and it requires your full commitment. Rest assured knowing that you will be receiving a quality education and be networking with other professionals across the country.

You will also have a series of "ah-ha" moments in the MPAP program, and the instructors are phenomenal. I highly recommend American University.


You can learn more about American University’s online MPAP degree by visiting the program page, requesting more information, or calling us toll free at 855-725-7614.