Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Jack Connors, MPA

Jack Connors, MPA

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Brownsville, Vermont

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies, UW–Madison, 2020

Professional/research interests
Social, urban, and transportation policy

Why an MPA?
As an undergraduate at UW–Madison, I took several classes with La Follette School faculty members. As I thought about the best way to expand upon what I learned and develop my main areas of interest into a wide variety of possible career paths, the La Follette School was the clear choice.

Why the La Follette School?
I was excited by the opportunity to immerse myself in my areas of interest with small classrooms of students who share my passion and bring their own skills and backgrounds to the table.

Career goals
I am looking to continue being involved in advancing progressive policies in both public and private roles. As an undergraduate, I was very involved with campaigning here in Wisconsin. Having learned a great deal about the issues facing our state and nation, I hope to be able to run for office one day to be a part of the policy solutions that can and will address these issues.

Impact of La Follette School courses and experiences on career goals
As part of my Climate Action Planning class focused on Sustainable Transportation (URB R PL 590), I am putting together a report that will help UW–Madison reduce emissions from its fleet of vehicles through various policy recommendations. This has already helped me grasp careers in this field that I would not have otherwise known about, connected me with people working in those fields, and most excitingly allowed the work I do for this class to have a real-world impact. What I like most about my classes is that they are made up of close-knit, hands-on groups of students where the work is closely or directly related to real-world circumstances.

Summer internship
I have had the pleasure of interning for Gov. Tony Evers, the Association of State Democratic Committees, and New York Sen. Brad Hoylman.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
I recommend reaching out to Mo O’Connor and the many other tremendous people at the La Follette School to see if this path is right for you. When I did so in November of 2019, everyone was tremendously kind and helpful! I was able to talk with faculty in areas that interested me to see what my coursework and career would look like as an MPA student.

The Wisconsin Idea
As an undergraduate at UW–Madison, I quickly became aware of the Wisconsin Idea and the ways it shapes our school’s mission as a public university tasked with impacting every corner of the state. At the La Follette School, I have been delighted to see the Wisconsin Idea be continued through the multidisciplinary nature of my courses and the focus on public service.

What did you do before enrolling at the La Follette School?
I was an undergraduate in Political Science and International Studies at UW-Madison.