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Alumna Keeps Local Government Accountable

When we think of auditors, what often comes to mind are financial sleuths on the lookout for fraudulent behavior. As an Internal Auditor for the City of Convington, which is situated right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Jenna Skop (MPA ‘13) has a slightly different mission. “I evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of City programs and activities,” she explains, which includes not only reviewing “operations and management practices, identifying areas where inefficiency, risk, or weakness exists,” but also finding potential solutions to these challenges.

One of the things Jenna loves about her job is the opportunity to learn new things. Every year, she plans out the audits she will do. While each audit is unique, all of them require advanced communication skills; she does a lot of writing and public speaking in her role. Between her current and previous work in a similar job in Atlanta, her projects have ranged from public school bond funding, aging programs, public parking, and teacher attrition rates. Jenna looks forward to growing as a program evaluator and auditor—increasing transparency and taxpayer accountability gives her career a meaningful purpose. She learns not just in her everyday operations, but also outside her auditing projects, having recently obtained her Certified Fraud Examiner certification.

When every day is so different, an MPA comes in handy: “The Martin School taught me about government management – how to make decisions and include ethical considerations, how to frame an argument, and the program drilled into me the importance of concise and effective writing skills... Government is about providing a public service, and it is important for staff to provide the best information possible to legislators and decision-makers,” she explains. Current students should also take note—all of those technical financial management concepts won’t just disappear! In previous work in Atlanta, Jenna and her team found old class materials helpful on a project. “I actually broke out the textbook used in the funds management class, so other staff and I could plot out the best ratio analyses for a hybrid balanced scorecard we were compiling!”

In her spare time, Jenna loves spending time with her family and friends. While she might not call herself a “foodie,” she cannot resist trying out all the new hotspots in nearby Cincinnati!