Mark D. Fellows graduated in international relations from the Kennedy Center in 1996. “My education [in the center] developed my ability to clearly communicate, analyze, and maybe most importantly, to express my opinion in open dialogue,” said Fellows. Upon receiving his undergraduate degree and hoping to learn more about government operations and management, Fellows immediately entered the Romney Institute of Public Management.
Graduating with an MPA in the middle of the IT/.com boom, Fellows went to work as a business analyst and technology consultant to state and local governments with American Management Systems. “As a consultant, the ability to communicate with all types of people from many different cultures and backgrounds allows you to adequately lead, direct, and, in my case, hopefully, make governments more efficient,” Fellows remarked. “My international relations degree laid the foundation for these skills. Wherever you go in this nation, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, or Oklahoma, there are people from different international cultures. Understanding their values, their beliefs, and their backgrounds allows you to be more effective in establishing relationships that build successful consulting engagements.”
After leaving AMS almost three years ago, Fellows now lives in Folsom, California, and works for ea inc. as a program manager. “I feel very lucky, because I graduated with my master’s when there were plenty of jobs to choose from. As the economy softened, I had developed the skills needed to survive in a niche of the economy that continues to grow,” Fellows reflected. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to speak and participate in several national and regional conferences including the Government Finance Officers Association and the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) annual conferences. Currently, I am one of only a few members of the private sector that has been asked to participate in ICMA’s eGovernment Task Force.”
His advice to current students is that if he had to go through the program again, “I would have participated in Washington Seminar. I attended the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies for a semester in 1995. Even though the center is currently closed, I would search out other opportunities to study abroad during your academic career.”
Fellows and his wife, Becky, have three children: McCall (4), Parker (2), and Carson (two months). He said, “The greatest challenge I find is balancing the demands of family, church, and work, and fulfilling your duties to all of them.”