Profile: Breezie O'Neill

MPA 2010 Assistant Director of International Programs and Development at Saint Martin’s University

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Breezie has lived, worked, and studied around the world while specializing in nonprofit management and Southeast Asian studies. Her career and community life has centered around nonprofits. After serving in the Peace Corps in Belize as a Business and Organizational Development Volunteer, she worked for Girl Scouts of Western Washington as a Community Development Manager. Currently, Breezie is the Assistant Director of International Programs and Development at Saint Martin’s University.

“I decided to pursue an MPA degree from Evergreen because I needed to learn how to manage nonprofit organizations in an increasingly globalized world. Evergreen's interdisciplinary style helped me develop a wide range of skills that I need to work effectively with organizations that tackle complex systematic issues. I've known for a very long time that the Peace Corps was for me. I also knew that an MPA degree from Evergreen would help me be a more effective volunteer. The MPA taught me the importance of collaborative work. In the Peace Corps your work isn't sustainable if you are doing it on your own. We must work WITH our local organization not FOR our local organization. The MPA program showed me the value of learning from my peers and helped me practice communicating to people with diverse backgrounds and skills. I'm also utilizing my skills in project management, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship, and sustainable decision-making. A lot of times people approach me about the MPA or Peace Corps and say, "I wish I could do something like that." I always tell them "YOU CAN”! My advice is to try and then decide. Your time in the MPA program is an amazing opportunity to experiment with new ideas and career options. Take classes you might not be sure about, do internships, volunteer. Learn about topics you’ve never considered. If you are thinking about answering the call to service either in the states or abroad know that it will be the most rewarding work you will ever do”.