Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, March 5, 2021

Ethan Kenney, MPA

Ethan Kenney, MPA

Ethan Kenney, MPA

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Hometown
Green Bay, WI

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in economics with mathematical emphasis, and History, UW–Madison, 2018

Professional/research interests
State and local government finance, public budgeting, fiscal policy, labor workforce development policy

Expected graduation date
May 2022

Why the La Follette School?
Having done my undergrad in economics at UW–Madison, I was fortunate to take several courses as part of my degree that were taught by La Follette School faculty or cross-listed with the School’s courses. In all them, I was shown not only the expertise that the La Follette School has in public policy areas, but also the School’s commitment to the Wisconsin Idea. These were some of the most rewarding (and most fun) courses that I took during my undergrad. Because of them, I wanted to continue my education and learn more about public policy, and I believed the best place to do that was the La Follette School.

Career goals
Ideally, I would like to stay in Wisconsin and work for a state agency or local government. My policy interests draw me to positions such as a budget analyst or fiscal analyst. However, this is definitely not set in stone, and I am sure that throughout the rest of my graduate studies I will discover new potential career paths that I had not originally considered.

How has the La Follette School set you on the path to meeting your career goals?
During the spring semester, I am taking elective courses such as Public Budgeting and State and Local Finance. While still early in the semester, what I have learned so far has already expanded my existing interests even further. I am really looking forward to the rest of the semester and beginning to work on projects in my policy interest areas, as I know they will be extremely rewarding.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
It is perfectly OK to not be entirely sure what your policy interests are when you start. I was in that boat. People come to the La Follette School at many stages of their lives, and that makes it unique. I feel as though I am introduced to new ideas and policy areas that I had never even heard of every single week. As you take more classes, attend seminars, and talk with new people, you will begin to figure out what policy areas are best for you.

Anything else?
Outside of the classroom, much of my time is taken up by dog, Eden. He’s a three-year-old German Shepherd mix. You can find us walking all around the city or at one of the many dog parks. Otherwise, I am a big soccer fan and love the Badgers and the Packers. In non-COVID times, I really enjoy exploring the craft brewery and restaurant scene in Madison (especially the dog-friendly ones).