News: Student Profiles
When considering La Follette, know that you will not be “just another face in the crowd.” The faculty and staff truly know your name and face, and you will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other students.
I previously was an English teacher in South Korea, and I also worked for an international development organization in Washington, D.C. Pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs was the next logical step in developing myself professionally and seeking opportunities with more responsibilities.
The La Follette School has helped me explore options. I learned about nonprofit work during my summer internship with Health Access Connect and during the La Follette in D.C. career development trip, I saw what private sector and consulting work might be like.
During my undergraduate studies, I worked at a municipal consulting firm (Center for Government Research), that worked with local communities to improve government services. I enjoyed the work as well as knowing that we were improving people’s lives. I determined that a public affairs degree would give me the skills that I’d need to pursue that line of work as a career.
Before coming to La Follette, I spent three years living and working in New York City as a home visitor, providing services to Spanish-speaking immigrant families and subsequently as a resource development associate at a nonprofit organization in the New York Housing Authority’s Queensbridge Houses.
Learning the theories behind policymaking and public management has been really eye opening. There were so many times in class where I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, that totally happened to me at our organization!”
My ultimate goal is to get to a position where I can move the needle on poverty policy.
La Follette offers an accelerated program where undergraduates interested in public policy can start graduate courses during their senior year and finish both degrees in five years. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to participate in La Follette’s world-class program while saving a bit of money!
I would like to work on environmental policy or environmental management. To supplement my MPA, I enrolled in the Certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility Program, which has helped me develop the skills to analyze how businesses incorporate sustainability measures and whether those measures are effective.
My advice to prospective La Follette School students is to take quantitative classes, use the La Follette network to learn more about career paths and opportunities, pursue a summer internship, and participate in extra-curricular activities.