student Spotlight

February Student Spotlight with Laurie Vazquez Executive MPA ‘19


We speak to the Senior Investigator at the New York City Department of Education about her career, her experience in the Marxe Executive MPA program, and how she utilizes its lessons in service of "advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as preserving an enriched and safe educational environment for all students."

What do you do as Senior Investigator at the NYC DOE?
With my many years of service at the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), my role as a Senior Investigator has become fluid and multifaceted. I serve within the Department’s Division of Human Capital, assuring that all DOE employees and DOE vendor employees obtain the proper security clearance required to work in NYC Public Schools. I focus and collaborate on the Department’s efforts to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as preserving an enriched and safe educational environment for all students. I take great pride in my work and the people I collaborate with along my professional journey.

How did you get interested in a career in education?
Initially, I became interested in a career in educational management and human resources within the DOE because I wanted to be a part of influencing positive changes and advancing equity in the NYC Public School system. I am a born and raised Brooklyn girl and a product of the NYC school system. I have great passion to be a part of improving the public school system and it is driven by my experiences, education, and civil duty.

Today, I have a unique perspective working in this field. Throughout the years, I have developed strong customer service and problem solving skills, as well as a solid understanding of the Department’s priorities, goals, and unexpected challenges. I work with people from all walks of life, with different views and goals, and I enjoy the ability to assist with the on-boarding process of a new employee. This part of my job sanctions the ability to preserve the educational enrichment, and most importantly, the safety and welfare of NYC public school students.

What has your experience in the Executive MPA been like so far?
So far, my experience in the Executive MPA Program has been absolutely amazing. As a full-time working, single mother, the program challenged me in great ways that have improved aspects of my life academically, professionally, and personally. I admit, it is not easy but I strive to prove that I can do it and I am confident that this experience will advance my career. Focusing on the bigger picture makes me work even harder to show my little girl, “Yes, I can…and yes, you can and will too!”

What are you finding to be applicable to your role at the DOE?
Baruch College has opened my eyes to an incredible culture of academic learning and opportunity, some of which I have begun to gain the benefits of, such as being part of a highly intellectual Cohort and learning from some of the best professors in NYC! Since I have started the program, I have become more confident in my ability to lead and collaborate, to be more decisive, and to diplomatically tackle problems as they come. I cannot stress enough how wonderful the program’s administration has been throughout this experience. Learning and concentrating on relevant topics about NYC government, current events, ethics, writing, research methods…etc. on a daily basis, I find it all applicable to my current role. The way in which these courses have all had an impact in my career is absolutely rewarding and solidifies that I made the right decision to pursue this program. Moreover, I am excited to say I am almost done!