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Mid-Career Move Helped Sally Slook '08 MPA Find Her Passion

Sally Slook

When Sally Slook ’08 MPA was working as a corporate recruiter, she was successful but she wasn’t satisfied.

“I realized that I wanted to make more of a difference working with people and with organizations whose mission served others,” she says.

After making a job change to nonprofit management, she decided to also pursue a Masters in Public Administration degree at Villanova University. Fifteen years into her career, she had finally found her passion.

“In my classes at Villanova, I connected with many other students who were local government professionals in Pennsylvania. I asked questions, and realized that [it] would be a great career for me, combining my interest in government, doing meaningful work and making a difference,” she says.

What she liked the most about her classes were the relationships she formed with her fellow students and her professors.

“The professors were fantastic; not only were they experts in the field, but they were committed to providing a quality holistic experience that focused on the student as an individual,” she says. “Also, the bonds I made with my fellow students continue to this day to enrich and provide me with ongoing support.” 

Slook took a risk and left her “comfortable” nonprofit management job and accepted two positions. One was working as an intern for Upper Merion Township in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and the other was as a graduate assistant for the MPA/Political Science departments at Villanova.

“Due to the support of many people in both organizations, I was able to transition mid-career as a nontraditional manager and was hired in my first position in local government as an assistant township manager for Upper Gwynedd Township in North Wales, Pennsylvania.”

Today Slook has moved on to become is assistant township manager for Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania which is the home of Valley Forge National Historical Park and the vast King of Prussia Mall. She also is an adjunct instructor in Villanova’s MPA program, where she shares her real-world experiences with her students.

“I’m thrilled to have returned to Upper Merion as the assistant township manager. The Township has long held the distinction of setting the 'gold standard' in local government management. It’s also an exciting time to be working here as the Township is undergoing significant development and re-development," says Slook. "I enjoy the opportunity to give back and share my experiences and knowledge with MPA students."

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