Friday, April 5, 2024
Headshot of Joshua Squires

Area of Study
Master of Public Affairs
Concentration: Public Policy

What is your undergraduate degree?
BBA of Analytical Economics

Why did you choose to attend the University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs (SPPA)?
I chose to attend the University of Iowa School of Planning and Public Affairs because of their strong reputation in decreasing the barriers to increased economic and transportation developments. My interest in these areas, coupled with the school's emphasis on practical, policy-oriented solutions, makes it an ideal place for me to pursue my goals. I am passionate about creating policies that advance economic growth and improve transportation infrastructure for every citizen, and SPPA's curriculum, experienced faculty, and collaborative environment provide the perfect platform for me to develop the skills and knowledge needed to make a meaningful impact in the field.

What excites you the most about being a part of the local or university communities?
What excites me the most about being part of the university communities at the University of Iowa is the opportunity to collaborate with both students and faculty who share the same passion for economic and transportation developments, and a passion for increased infrastructure. Engaging with these dedicated individuals allows me to learn firsthand about effective policies and planning strategies. 

This summer, I am working at the Des Moines Area MPO as a transportation planning intern. I am participating in projects and discussions that address real-world challenges for the Des Moines Metro. This hands-on experience, combined with the knowledge and expertise of the university community, will be invaluable in helping me develop and implement policies that drive positive change in Iowa communities.

What's next for you or where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In the next five years, I see myself pursuing one of two paths. One possibility is continuing my academic journey by pursuing a PhD in economics, where I can delve deeper into the complexities of economic theory and its practical applications, particularly in the areas of economic development and transportation. Alternatively, I envision working as a transportation planner, applying my knowledge and skills to develop and implement effective transportation policies that enhance connectivity and accessibility. Both paths align with my passion for economic and transportation developments and my goal of creating policies that foster sustainable growth and improve quality of life.

What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing a master of public affairs at the School of Planning and Public Affairs?
For someone considering pursuing a Master of Public Affairs at the School of Planning and Public Affairs, my advice would be to fully embrace the opportunity to engage with the diverse and experienced community at the University of Iowa.

What do you enjoy outside of school? 
Outside of school, I enjoy spending time outdoors and spending time with loved ones. Whether it's hiking or biking on one of the area's trails, or simply taking a walk in the park, being in nature helps me relax and recharge. I also cherish the moments I get to spend with family and friends, whether we're having a meal together, sharing stories, or just enjoying each other's company.