Alumni Spotlight: Meaghan Carver
Since graduating with a B.S. in Public Policy in 2014, Meaghan Carver has launched a career in public service. She has served several roles in Georgia’s state government, focusing on how public policies impact the state’s budget.
We spoke to her about her current role and what life has been like since graduating from Georgia Tech.
Where do you work? What led you there?
I currently work at Georgia’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) as the Division Director of Planning and Strategy. In this role, I am responsible for special projects at OPB, analyzing and tracking legislation, liaising with the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the state, chairing the Georgia Occupational Regulation Review Council, and assisting with the drafting of fiscal notes on legislation.
After graduating in 2014, I was a fellow in Gov. Nathan Deal’s Policy Office. After my fellowship, I was hired as an analyst at OPB. I have worked in various roles and divisions — such as a budget analyst for the Department of Revenue and Georgia’s Retirement Systems, as well as a policy coordinator for Georgia’s public safety agencies.
What’s your favorite part of your current role?
My favorite part of my job is that I interact with all policy areas in the state. I also love engaging with the legislative process during the state session to determine how different pieces of legislation impact state operations.
How did your Georgia Tech public policy education prepare you to succeed?
Georgia Tech and its public policy classes prepared me to have the very analytical approach needed when working through budget analysis and other research projects. I still use fundamentals taught in policy analysis and statistics every day. The Excel and programming skills learned in my chemistry and computer science classes have also been crucial for optimizing my analysis.
What’s something that surprised you about post-graduation life?
I am still getting used to all the free time I have outside of work, even seven years later!
What accomplishments make you particularly proud?
I have had an opportunity to work on each state budget published in the past seven years, impacting the services offered in Georgia. I am proud that I am one of many making Georgia a better place to live and work.
What do you miss about Georgia Tech?
I really miss the sense of community at Georgia Tech. At any point, you could look around and know that the students around you were all going through similar struggles and victories. I also miss being a part of Tech’s band programs, where you had scheduled class time to indulge in more artistic pursuits.
What’s one piece of advice that you have for students who are graduating this semester?
Don’t be afraid to look outside of traditional employment opportunities. Public policy degrees are extremely versatile and have different career applications.
Can students interested in pursuing a similar field reach out to you?
Absolutely! Anyone interested in talking about state government and some of the great careers available can reach out to me through email (Meaghan.Carver@opb.georgia.gov).