Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, October 31, 2013

Students network with alumni, friends

Alumni and other public policy professionals sat down with 55 first-year La Follette School students to talk about careers at a speed-networking session October 28.

The 20 professionals from the public and private sectors met individually with two or 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 outreach specialist Bridget Pirsch, who organized the event as part of the La Follette School's one-credit professional development workshop. Associate director Menzie Chinn welcomed the participants.

Networking — finding someone who knows someone who knows someone — is an important component of the job search, La Follette School career development coordinator Kate 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
  • Sarah Archibald, 1998 master's degree in public affairs and policy, education policy advisor to Wisconsin Senator Luther Olsen
  • Brian Bell, 2010 Master of Public Affairs, elections data manager, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
  • Sasha Bong, 2012 Master of International Public Affairs, budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Administration
  • Bill Cosh, 1993 master's degree in public policy and administration, agency spokesperson, Office of Communications for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Jami Crespo, 2012 MPA and law degree, benefits policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Joe Fontaine, 2008 MPA,  evaluation coordinator for energy savings programs, Public Service Commission  of Wisconsin
  • Elizabeth Hartjes, 2012 MIPA, budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Health Service
  • Adam Hartung, 2011 MPA, budget and policy analyst, Department of Children and Families.
  • Jennie Mauer, 2008 MPA, state coordinator, Wisconsin Project LAUNCH, Wisconsin departments of Health Services and Children and Families
  • Sean Moran, 2008 MPA, fiscal analyst, Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau
  • Brian Quinn, 2010 MPA, budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Administration
  • Sylvia (Fredericks) Ramirez, 2011 MPA, director of budget and planning, University of Wisconsin System
  • Alan Runde, 1987, master's degree in public policy and administration, fiscal analyst, Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau
  • Terry Shelton, La Follette School outreach director
  • Kristin Silva, 2001 MPA, community development coordinator for Waukesha County
  • Jeff Smith, retired from Wisconsin Department of Administration
  • Megan Stritchko, 2009 MPA executive policy and budget analyst, Wisconsin Department of Administration.
  • Laurel Sukup, 2011 WWIG seminar graduate, environmental assistance coordinator, Office of Business Support and Sustainability, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • H.J. Waukau, 2012 La Follette MPA, budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Health Services