Dr. Tony (T.J.) Carrizales is a graduate of Cornell University, earning his BA in History in 2001 and his MPA (Master’s of Public Administration) in 2003. He lives in Westchester, New York with his wife, a fellow Cornell alumnus, and their child.
Regarding his Cornell experience, he says that those who most influenced him were his friends and fellow classmates, whose aspirations and goals pointed to a hopeful future for society. He also enthusiastically praises the education he received from the College of Arts and Sciences, explaining that such an education enables one to take a wide breadth of courses that help one have an understanding of how various academic fields are inter-related. Although he initially found academic work at the university challenging and admits that he had trouble envisioning himself graduating, he was able to, through perseverance and hard work, successfully adapt to the demands of Cornell’s courses. In addition to this, he also found time management at Cornell challenging, though he was able to solve this problem by only participating in those organizations of great interest to him and obtaining leadership positions in them that enabled him to have partial control over the times and places where those organizations held their meetings. One of the most rewarding experiences for him at Cornell was to spend a summer studying abroad in the Dominican Republic, which helped him begin to understand the history of the United States in the context of the histories of all of the nations of the world, and to realize the interconnectedness of these nations.
Seeing an opportunity to advance his career, Dr. Carrizales stayed on at Cornell to receive his MPA, and eventually entered into a career as a professor of public administration. One of his experiences at Cornell that most impacted his career was the protests he was involved in to try to change the way that the public administration at Cornell worked. He explains that this experience emphasized to him how organizations work and how people must continually struggle for what they believe in. One advantage of a career in academia, he explains, is that it has enabled him to travel the world for his research and visit beautiful and exotic cities that he may have never had the chance to visit otherwise. However, he cautions that those interested in a career in academia should be self-motivated to do research and publish, saying “It is not a 9-5 job with clear tasks, the objectives are typically abstract.” Those best-suited to a life in academia would be able to enjoy having a more flexible schedule while still being able to meet deadlines for projects. When asked what resources graduate students interested in a career in academia should use to find a job, he responded by saying that attending many conferences was a great way to network with current professors and find out about relevant job opportunities.