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Michelle Oberg



Michelle Oberg

Class of 2018 (MPA)

Hometown: Mill Valley, California
Undergraduate: CSU Sacramento
Major: Vocational Education

Michelle Oberg has worked in the automotive industry for the past 21 years - for the bulk of her career, she has worked as a mechanic specializing in transmission diagnosis and repair.

Her call to work with automobile engines occurred when she was pursuing an English degree at Sacramento State and encountered car trouble. Rather than relying on a stranger to fix her car, she empowered herself to take a beginner's automotive course. Oberg loved the course and then took one automotive course after another.

"I had that aha moment and just realized that working with cars was something that I could do for a long period of my life and enjoy. There is something very satisfying about having a car come in on a tow truck and then seeing someone drive that vehicle away in a few days. There are a lot of critical thinking skills that go into diagnosing car problems and most mechanic shops have friendly and happy work environments."  

Nine years into her career, Oberg realized that she couldn't do the physical work that her trade demands for her entire career and pursued a Bachelor's degree in Vocational Education so that she could teach her passion. She taught briefly at American River College then took a position at a state agency that regulates automotive repair.  

Oberg decided to pursue a Master's in Public Administration at McGeorge in order to move up at her state agency. She is also interested in serving as a dean at a community college. "I'm one of those people who loves to learn. I just want to keep having fun at work and that means moving around and doing different things."  

Oberg decided that McGeorge was right for her when she was reaching out for preliminary information about its MPA program.   "They were very responsive to me and made it very easy for me to get to know their program. When I got to the campus, I realized that it had a real family feel. I was a little concerned with buyer's remorse, but because the campus seemed so supportive, I knew that even if I had difficulties as a student, there would be people to support me. The staff and employees at McGeorge are incredibly positive."  

Oberg is pursing the MPA program part-time and works full-time. "I have a class every other Saturday from 9:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m. Some people wouldn't like to have a class on a Saturday, especially when the weather is beautiful, but I am excited to go to class and to be around my engaging peers and my professors."  

Oberg reflected that the professors and the administrators of McGeorge's MPA program are qualified in more ways than one - they have wonderful professional backgrounds, but also have great hearts. "Their warmth makes you want to try hard and engage with the program as much as possible. I am really happy I pursued this degree at McGeorge."    

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