student Spotlight

September Student Spotlight with Anna Yakubova, Executive MPA ‘20


September's student spotlight is with Anna Yakubova (Executive MPA, '20) who works at the NYC Department of Small Business Services on critical projects such as promoting diversity in small business ownership and for whom public service is a "passion."

Tell us about your role as Executive Director at the NYC Department of Small Business Services. What initiatives are you and your team working on?
In my role as the Executive Director of Certification at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, I am responsible for overseeing a team of Certification Analysts and Field Auditors in processing and evaluating applications from businesses applying for the City’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE), Local Business Enterprise (LBE), and Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) Certification Programs. I make final decisions on Certification applications, adhering to the rules of the City’s Certification Programs. I also track the performance of both teams, ensuring targets and goals are met. The most important initiative that I am working on is supporting the Mayor's goal to have 9,000 certified M/WBEs by the end of 2019.

Tell us a bit about the value that M/WBE’s bring to New York City.
Getting certified as an M/WBE with the City of New York open doors with opportunities for our businesses to compete and win City contracts. M/WBEs that win contracts are able to invest in local jobs that expand the economic well-being of their community.

Why did you decide to come to the Marxe School and join the Executive MPA program? What have you learned thus far?
Public service has become a passion for me and I decided to join the Executive MPA program to learn more about public policy so that I may improve the City’s M/WBE program and other policy initiatives at my agency and any future organization that I may join. In just a few months at Baruch, I have learned much about statistical analysis and effectively communicating ideas to colleagues.

What got you interested in working for New York City government agencies? What advice would you give to those who are interested in public sector work such as this?
I became interested in working for New York City because I felt a desire to work somewhere that benefited the public. After working in the private sector, I felt that public service would be a more rewarding path for my career. For anyone thinking about working in the public sector, I would let them know that it provides an opportunity to work somewhere that you can make a direct difference in people's lives rather than focus on profit. You will find an environment where you can learn and grow with a good work-life balance.