Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dominic Habjan, MPA

Dominic Habjan, MPA

Hometown
Nevada, Missouri

Undergraduate education
Agricultural economics, emphasis in public policy, University of Missouri, 2014

Expected graduation date
Spring 2018

Age
25

Why an MPA?
My mother was a public administrator for the county where I grew up. As a result, I was continually exposed to how public policy works at both a state and local level. It wasn’t until a little bit later in life that I realized I was truly interested in public policy, but once that clicked in my head, it was a no-brainer.

Why the La Follette School?
First and foremost, the small class size was an immediate draw. Having a more intimate and immersive experience was also intriguing to me. Beyond that, I wanted to attend a large research university in the Midwest, and La Follette checked all the boxes.

How have your La Follette School courses and/or experiences set you on the path to meeting your career goals?
I really enjoyed the course Policy Making Process. The course helped connect many pieces of other courses that I have taken at La Follette. It combined research with policy application in a way that was truly unique.

Classes in which you’ve done work for real world clients
I am working on a Performance Management project for the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds. The project is focused on revamping the performance measures used internally by the department.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
When considering La Follette, know that you will not be “just another face in the crowd.” The faculty and staff truly know your name and face, and you will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students.

Most challenging experience at the La Follette School
Coming to a new place where I knew no one. This can be daunting, but the atmosphere was so welcoming that those fears dissipated almost immediately.

Most rewarding experience at the La Follette School
For me, it was the challenge. Being able to take on the challenge and be successful, not only for myself, but being able to share that experience with a cohort has been amazing.

Has the La Follette School changed the way you think about public policy?
Absolutely! I don’t think there is anyone in the world who knows every detail of every issue. Looking at various issues I had previously not been acquainted with has definitely changed the way I think about public policy.

What did you do before enrolling at the La Follette School?
I was a content contributor at an online retailer. While it was not policy-based, I gained other skills have helped at La Follette.

La Follette School Student Association
I am the LSSA Social Coordinator. Helping plan social events for the entire program has been very rewarding. For some, it is a great way to meet others they might not normally meet. But it is great to see people enjoying themselves and taking time to shake some stress that inevitably comes with studies.

On-and/or off-campus volunteer activities
I volunteer at a nonprofit organization called Options. I provide companionship to a gentleman who has some developmental disabilities. It has been an excellent experience and a constant reminder of why I am studying public policy.

People would be surprised if they knew that...
I love shoes. From loafers to sneakers, I love all sorts of shoes.