Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, August 4, 2014

Global perspective engages Blake

Dylan Blake


Dylan Blake graduated with a Master of International Public Affairs degree in May 2015 and is currently working in business development in New York City.

For Dylan Blake, East Asia is the place to be and understand.

“I see East Asia as the most rapidly changing, exciting part of the world, both now and for the foreseeable future,” said Blake, who received his master of international public affairs degree from the La Follette School in 2015. “This is why I studied Korean during the summer, and why I’ve chosen to focus all my large course projects on East Asia whenever possible.”

During the summer between his first and second years at La Follette, Black studied at Seoul National University’s Language Education Institute on a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education. “The 10-week program was at what is unanimously considered the best university in South Korea,” Blake says. “I took four hours of classes every weekday, and other than that I was able to study, sightsee, and, most importantly, go on a self-guided culinary tour of the city. I was extremely happy and lucky to have received this award and encourage all internationally focused students to pursue it.”

Blake graduated in 2010 from the University of Notre Dame, where he double‐majored in American studies and English. “I spent the next year in France and the following year in South Korea,” he says. “These overseas experiences were pivotal in launching me on the international affairs trajectory.”

Blake mostly traveled in France. In South Korea he taught English at a public middle school for one school year. “Throughout this two-year stretch, I wrote travel articles for my hometown newspaper,” he says. “I also studied Korean and French intensively, which was necessary because in both countries I lived in rural communities, where English was not widespread.”

After his travels, Blake came to Madison to join his girlfriend, who was a master’s student in the university’s occupational therapy program. “I spent a significant amount of time in Madison during undergrad, as my best friend attended UW, and I really enjoyed it,” Blake says. “After living and working in Madison for several months, I came to like it even more.”

With his desire to live abroad in mind, Blake decided to pursue a graduate degree in international public affairs to enhance his quantitative skill set. “The quant courses were important for me because they offered a crash course in statistics and econ, things I didn’t spend much time on in undergrad, as my majors were humanities-focused,” he says.

Blake had a fellowship for his first year at La Follette. For the 2014-15 school year, he was a project assistant with economist Menzie Chinn.

“I enjoyed La Follette because of how welcome the school makes its students feel,” Blake adds. “It is extremely open and welcoming, and contact with any member of the staff or faculty is very easy.”

After graduating from La Follette, Blake hoped to move and work abroad for a number of years, he says. “I immensely enjoy spending significant time abroad, and as I consider the possibilities that a ‘career’ has to offer, I am certain I want international travel to be a part of it.”