Maricela De León, Master in Public Administration ‘11
What are you doing now?
I am self-employed. I am an independent legislative consultant and a registered lobbyist in the State of Texas. I assist clients on strategy implementation to ensure legislative efficiency and effectiveness for their business and county government. More so, I am the Founder of an Edinburg based non-profit, “Just Kauz It’s Right” where along with our board of directors, are committed to assisting school children throughout the Rio Grande Valley with educational tools, such as school supplies to succeed in the classroom. With the help and financial support of local donors, we are able to make a difference in the community.
What are your career goals?
As a former Chief of Staff and Chief Committee Clerk on Technology for State Representative Aaron Peña and with over 10 years of public service in the state of Texas, I have a strong desire to continue my commitment to public service. As a result, I am currently on a 37-week LSAT prep and looking forward to attending law school next year, where I plan to specialize in Family Law, Real Estate Finance and Education Law. I plan to obtain a partnership with a Fortune 500 company as their top lobbyist. Obtaining my law degree is the epitome of my educational career. Reaching this milestone will position me to continue to fight for the people of Texas, specifically South Texas, and become a voice in Education Policy.
What has your UTPA graduate education done for you?
My UTPA graduate education has allowed me the opportunity to put in to practice the theory of policy into government policy implementation and evaluation.
How do you feel about your UTPA experience?
My UTPA experience ROCKED! From my undergraduate to graduate years, I stayed committed to having an experience that can be taken off campus and used in my personal and career ambitions.
Best tip for success?
The best tip for success is to be kind. Be determined. Have a positive attitude. Nothing in life is easy, nothing was given to me and no one will take care of you, except for you. These thoughts have proven successful in my life. It has not been an easy road, but if I had a negative attitude with no determination I would be a bitter person with no happiness and no success to show. It’s as easy as having a smile on your face. I try to live by this simple proverb a stranger taught me, “Hoy por ti, mañana por mi.” The people you meet in your life are God’s angels to make sure you stay on path.
Do you have any advice for prospective graduate students?
The best tip is to make sure you have a strategic plan and know what you want to have accomplished when you decide to embark in a graduate degree. Try to make your coursework decisions apply to what you plan on doing post-graduate school. Be sure to set priorities for family, work and your education. I don’t believe in excuses, so upon making a choice to seek a graduate school degree, you need to make sure it’s a true priority. Additionally, organize yourself and have a calendar book, utilize effective time management skills and always engage in class lecture because it’s the BEST way to learn!
Check out last week’s Profile in Excellence HERE.