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Executive MPA degree helps alumnus fulfill longtime career advancement goal

Daniel Kington
May 2, 2018

Averion, E. David“Pursuing an advanced degree while trying to raise a family is not easy,” said E. David Averion, a 2016 graduate of the Executive Master of Public Administration program at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. While Averion’s remark remains true regardless of the context, the Executive MPA program provided Averion the flexibility he needed to balance his education with his family life, ultimately allowing him to advance his career to his new position as the University of Cincinnati’s director of real estate administration.

Averion first decided to pursue an advanced degree because he wanted to develop his public administration skills, to enhance his work in the Office of Real Estate Management at Ohio University and to open future opportunities. Averion said the Executive MPA program offered him the opportunity to achieve those goals.

“The executive program is designed to be flexible and create a balance between school work, professional work and family commitments,” Averion said. However, he noted this increased flexibility didn’t necessarily make it easy: “I do recall a few holidays spent writing papers or working on projects.”

The most difficult moment in balancing his various commitments occurred when his supervisor at OHIO left the university, and Averion inherited greater work responsibilities. Averion therefore had to cut his course load, although he was able to graduate only one semester behind schedule.

Averion said success in the Executive MPA program is largely attributed to the support of his spouse.

“My spouse and I have five children, so time management was instrumental in obtaining my executive MPA degree,” Averion said. “However, my spouse was committed to supporting me in pursuit of my degree and, with that support, the balancing act was manageable.”

Although Averion was not always able to spend time with his family, he hopes that his children were able to learn something from his experience.

“My MPA is the culmination of my consistent dedication to a goal, and my children witnessed that dedication,” Averion said. “I hope they can reflect back on the nights, weekends and holidays I spent working and realize that determination can result in great things.”

For Averion, his MPA degree did indeed result in great things, helping him to achieve one of his longtime goals.

“Every year, I update my goals list, and during my second year in the MPA program, I added ‘become a director,’” Averion said. “I have now achieved that goal, and that would not have been possible without my MPA.”

At the University of Cincinnati, Averion’s role is similar to that he held at Ohio University, although he now has a greater level of responsibility: overseeing acquisition, disposition, lease and easement projects. While Averion enjoyed his time in Athens, he said he did not think twice about taking his new position.

“I could not pass up the opportunity to advance my career by moving to another institution,” Averion said. “A special type of growth occurs when you change jobs or move somewhere new. In this case, I am doing both, so it’s extremely exciting.”