Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, November 1, 2012

Students, alumni, friends network

Alumni and other public policy professionals sat down with first-year La Follette School students to talk about careers at a speed-networking session October 31.

People in groups of four, sitting in chairs in a big room.

Alum Santosh Lamichhane, in glasses, talks with students at the speed-networking session while career development coordinator waits to ring the bell to single to the groups to change.

The professionals from the public and private sectors met individually with three students for about 5 minutes. When the time was up, the students moved to another professional. "Students practiced their communications skills and talked about their career goals," says Kate Battiato, the school's career development coordinator who organized the event as part of the one-credit professional development workshop she teaches. Outreach specialist Bridget Pirsch assisted with the event.

Networking — finding someone who knows someone who knows someone — is an important component of the job search, Battiato says, as is practice at articulating one's career goals and interests. "This gathering is a valuable and fun way for students to learn about career opportunities," Battiato says. "Students may not initially appreciate a specific agency or career path, but after they talk with a variety of people and hear about different employers, they see more options to pursue."

"Our alumni are very well-connected with people in Wisconsin, the federal government and elsewhere, and they are interested in helping our students succeed in their careers and job searches," Battiato adds.

The participating professionals were:

  • Ruth Anderson, 2001 Wisconsin Women in Government seminar graduate, assistant vice president of administrative services, University of Wisconsin System
  • Brian Bell, 2010 La Follette MPA, elections data manager, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
  • Luke Fuszard, financial services sector manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
  • Santosh Lamichhane, 2011 La Follette MIPA, analyst, DNV KEMA Energy and Sustainability Office
  • John Lease, lobbyist, United Council of UW Students
  • Jennie Mauer, 2008 La Follette MPA, state coordinator, Wisconsin Project LAUNCH, Wisconsin departments of Health Services and Children and Families
  • Ben Monty, 2003 La Follette MPA, analyst, Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
  • Jen Murray, 2011 WWIG seminar graduate, traffic forecasting section chief, Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  • Noah Natzke, 2012 La Follette MPA, Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
  • Molly Regan, 2006 La Follette MPA, compliance manager, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
  • Emily Reynolds, 2011 La Follette MPA, community outreach specialist for the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
  • Jeff Smith, retired from Wisconsin Department of Administration
  • Laurel Sukup, 2011 WWIG seminar graduate, environmental assistance coordinator, Office of Business Support and Sustainability, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Gail Sumi, 2003 WWIG seminar graduate, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  • John Vander Meer, 2006 La Follette MPA, communications director, Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living
  • H.J. Waukau, 2012 La Follette MPA, budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Health Services