Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Students practice interview skills, receive valuable feedback from alumni, friends

La Follette School students benefitted from generous La Follette School alumni and other public policy professionals who participated in mock interviews Tuesday, November 1. The activity is one aspect of the Professional Development Workshop course (PA 800), a requirement for first-semester students.

Senior Outreach Specialist Bridget Pirsch organized the activity at the Pyle Center, and La Follette School Associate Director Hilary Shager (MPA ’05, PhD ’12) teaches the course.

“This is just one of the many ways the La Follette School integrates experiential learning into students’ coursework,” said Shager. “PA 800 gives students the opportunity to build relationships with and learn from La Follette School alumni and other practitioners who share their passion for public service.”

With resumes in hand, 49 students practiced their interviewing skills and received feedback from professionals in the field. Each interviewer asked standard questions for a policy analyst position, and students had the opportunity to ask about the job opportunity and employer.

Previous coursework included participating in a speed-networking activity, revising resumes and creating high-quality cover letters, and discussing strategies for completing successful interviews.“It is truly impressive that so many La Follette School alumni and friends take time out of their busy lives to help our students not only during this course, but throughout the year,” Shager said.

Volunteer interviewers were

  • Ruth Anderson (MPA, University of Illinois), associate vice president of administrative services, University of Wisconsin System
  • Brian Bell (MPA ’10), administrator, Wisconsin Ethics Commission
  • Tim Casper (MA ’99), vice president for institutional learning and effectiveness, Madison Area Technical College
  • William (Bill) Cosh (MA ’93), spokesperson, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection
  • Roland Couey (MA ’82), director, Bureau of Budget and Facilities Management, Wisconsin Department of Corrections
  • Grace Cudney (Wisconsin Women in Government graduate), retired state employee
  • John Elliott (MA ’99), deputy administrator, Division of Safety and Permanence, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
  • Katie Herrem (MPA ’08, MA ’08), director, Office of Budget and Programs, Division of Juvenile Corrections, Wisconsin Department of Corrections
  • Rebecca McAtee (MIPA ’10), director, Bureau of Eligibility Policy and Systems, Wisconsin Medicaid Program
  • Christian Moran (MPA ’06), budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Robert (Bob) Nikolay (MA ’90), administrator, Division of Management Services, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
  • Megan Stritchko (MPA ’09), budget and policy analyst, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
  • John Tuohy (MA ’83), director of regional operations, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families