Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, March 14, 2022

Nichole Springer, MIPA

Nichole Springer, MIPA

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Hometown
Eden, Wisconsin

Undergraduate education
Bachelor of business administration in international business and marketing, certificates in South Asian studies and Chinese professional communication, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Professional/research interests
International development, international affairs, Asia, and South Asia

Accomplishments
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) academic years 2016–17, 2021–22, and summer 2021

Expected graduation date
2023

Why an MIPA?
Throughout my time as an undergrad, I was fortunate to study abroad in China, Thailand, and India. After graduating with my undergraduate degree from UW-Madison, I went to work for a study abroad company in India. There I gained knowledge and experience in India and South Asia as a whole. Due to COVID-19, I returned to the U.S. and found myself without a job. I wanted to gain further qualitative and quantitative skills to combine them with my time and experience in India. I felt that further study was needed. Thus, I applied to the La Follette School for a Masters degree in International Public Affairs.

Why the La Follette School?
After a few years of living abroad, I realized I missed Madison, Wisconsin. Studying at the La Follette School of Public Affairs allowed me to obtain further education and return to Madison. I love the city, the university, and being close to home. Everyone, including alumni who I talked to mentioned how great the La Follette School is and the quality of education it offers. I felt that this was the best choice for me.

Assistantship
I currently have a project assistantship that was part of my admissions offer with Professor Mark Copelovitch. I was very fortunate to be matched and offered the position directly through the school. In this position, I assist Professor Copelovitch with his research. Some of the tasks I have done so far include research, analyze data, and create graphs for his upcoming works.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students?
Look for funding in places not only from the La Follette School but also outside, especially if you are learning or intend to learn a foreign language. Apply for a FLAS as an applicant in the February before your first semester at La Follette if possible.

Most challenging La Follette School experience?
I’m weaker in the area of quantitative skills- so the courses that taught those skills were the most challenging for me. It was through many office hours, study groups, and tutoring sessions that helped me come away with not only a good course grade for the class, but also a more solid understanding of quantitative analysis.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience?
One of the most rewarding experiences at La Follette is being surrounded by a great cohort. Their talent, passion, and hard work also lifts me up as I continue to study. I feel welcomed by all of them and have made some great friends as well!

Before the La Follette School
Before enrolling at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, I was working in India for a study abroad company. I was facilitating not only semester and yearlong programs, but also short-term faculty led programs that took me to multiple cities in India including Delhi, Varanasi, Amritsar, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kolkata. After returning to the U.S. due to COVID-19, I worked for a year at my local public library in Kewaskum, Wisconsin.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …
Was born in Germany! I was traveling before I was even born. My father was in the military and was stationed in Mannheim Germany. My family also went with him and soon I was born.