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Working in Public Administration: Lessons Learned

By: Jalane Meloun

For the topic of “Why did I choose to work in Government?” I thought it best to interview a city employee who served the public for 27 years and retired earlier this month.

Mr. Roglieri is a first-generation Italian who had familial expectations to become a lawyer because one of his cousins was slated to become a doctor. In college, he majored in political science and was on track to attend law school until he entered his senior year and took a Public Administration course. This course sparked his interest and merged well with his personal desire to go into hospitality management, which utilized his lifetime bar and restaurant experience. He calls his changed focus to government management a “compromise opportunity.” Roglieri’s parents were pleased because working for the government in Italy is considered a prestigious occupation, but not “looked down upon as it is here in the states” and he was able to follow his heart by venturing into management.

In graduate school, Mr. Roglieri dual-majored in City Administration and Personnel Administration, with hopes of becoming a city manager. When he graduated, Roglieri worked for two years as a testing and assessment specialist for Palm Beach County, Florida before being hired as an H.R. Manager in Hollywood, Florida. His career ladder kept him as a manager for seven years before promotion to Employment and Compensation Manager for a decade, and finally as a Human Resources Manager in charge of employment, compensation, training & development, and performance management for eight years until his retirement.

Mr. Roglieri retired with a full pension for working for the city of Hollywood for 25 years, thanks to being grandfathered into previous pension plans. Now, the current policy mandates 30 years of service before being retirement-eligible. When asked what kept him at the same city government position for so long, he unhesitatingly replied, “golden handcuffs” referring to the pension and health insurance benefits that would be hard to duplicate elsewhere. He commented that these perquisites are what keep employee choice turnover low in governmental posts.

When asked what he would have done differently, Roglieri mentioned that his sole regret was not continuing his schooling to attain a Ph.D., as this degree would open more options for him at his current life stage. He is retired at 55 years old and trying to obtain employ as an adjunct professor at local higher education institutions.  Roglieri continued, saying that he encourages current students to stay in school and not jump at any job opportunities that take them away from their education. He further suggests that students assume internship roles that they treat as though they were being paid for their work. This may enable them to make strong networking ties that can serve them well in the future.


Want to learn more about getting into government and why people choose to work in public administration?  Become a member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) to receive a subscription to our print newspaper.  For more information on membership opportunities, click here


Dr. Jalane Meloun is an Associate Professor of Administration in Barry University’s School of Adult and Continuing Education. As an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, she has chosen to focus on Human Resources, attaining both her Senior Professional in Human Resources and her Global Professional in Human Resources credentials. She is an active member of her community, most notably serving as the Vice Chair on the City of Hollywood’s Civil Service Board. Email: [email protected]

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One Response to Working in Public Administration: Lessons Learned

  1. kesiasa Reply

    November 20, 2012 at 12:16 am

    This is a great achievement. How I wish you should tell us the negative and positive side of working in public.

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