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MPA | Career Services

Meet the MPA Career Services Staff

Jim Franklin, Director

Jim earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School, and is a proud 1993 Texas MPA graduate. He holds dual CPA certifications in Texas and California. His professional experience includes roles with RJR/Nabisco, Deloitte and the U.S. Department of the Treasury-Internal Revenue Service.

As the Director of the MPA program and career services, Jim represents Career Services to various university and employer audiences. He provides general oversight of the department's career development and employer relations programs.

  • Coordinates the Accounting Careers Exploration  (ACC 151) course
  • Serves as the primary contact for employer collaboration with accounting faculty
  • Assists in managing employer relationships

Michelle Polkinghorn

Michelle Polkinghorn, Assistant Director

Since 2004, Michelle has helped Texas MPA students explore career options and navigate the job search. She holds a Master of Education in Counseling and Guidance with an emphasis in Student Affairs and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Michelle is certified by the Protocol School of Washington as a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant, and is recognized by the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches as a Certified Professional Résumé Writer. In 2012, Michelle was awarded the McCombs School of Business Staff Excellence Award for Outstanding Service to Constituents. Her skills and training enable her to:

  • Partner with students through the career exploration and job search processes
  • Design, coordinate, and present career workshops and events such as the Career Fair, Meet the Firms, Etiquette Dinner, and Outclass the Competition
  • Present career concepts in the Accounting Careers Exploration course (ACC 151)
  • Oversee the MPA Career Consulting Practicum and Peer Career Consulting programs
  • Consult with employers to maximize their recruiting efforts
  • Develop career resources delivered via web, video, and print media

Schedule an appointment with Michelle.

Dawn Shaw

Dawn Shaw, Senior Career Consultant

Dawn is a talented experienced professional who has worked as a Career Coach with The University of Texas at Austin in the College of Natural Sciences.  She also has experience as a Learning Designer in industry and has coached private clients in her own business.  She has worked at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston coaching and advising business students, integrating student-oriented technologies, and helping to develop leadership initiatives in the college.

Dawn holds a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Development from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Metropolitan State College of Denver, as well as a certification in Strengths Performance Leadership through the Gallup Organization.

Dawn teams with the MPA Career Services staff to:

  • Coach students on job search skills, interviews, help prepare for recruiting, and partner with students on how to navigate offers
  • Develop, deliver, and assess presentations and workshops including the Accounting Career Exploration class
  • Events such as Mock Interview Marathon, Industry Internship Program, Orientation, Resume Writing and Resume Books, Speed-Networking,  MPA Career Fair, Meet the Firms, and Etiquette Dinners

Schedule an appointment with Dawn.

Student Staff

Lisa Donovan, Career Project Manager



Max FrancisMax Francis, Senior Peer Career Consultant



Alyssa Hamilton, Senior Career Project Manager



Beth Hsieh, Career Project Manager



Ruyi Yao, Senior Peer Career Consultant