Haoyan (Ken) Wang, MIPA

Portrait of Haoyan Wang.Contact Haoyan


Beijing, China

Undergraduate education

Bachelor’s degrees in political science, international studies, and journalism with certificates in German, public policy, and European studies, UW–Madison

Professional/research interests

Foreign policy, international institutions, international media environment, role of media in global events, effects of foreign policy coverage on domestic events


Completed three majors and three certificates in four years, represented UW–Madison and the Department of Political Science in 63rd Annual Conference hosted by the United States Air Force Academy, editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin International Review

Expected graduation date

May 2024

Why a MIPA?

I decided to apply mainly because of my campus involvement. Beginning my junior year, I joined the Wisconsin International Review, where I used my working knowledge of international policies and applied my analytical skills to write commentary-style articles. I developed knowledge about events in China and the Middle East through my own research and built upon my existing knowledge about politics in the European Union. Additionally, my time at the School of Journalism & Mass Communication has led me to get into media studies, where I began to take an interest in the role of media in international affairs.

Why the La Follette School?

I was drawn to La Follette mainly because of its faculty expertise, alumni network, and most importantly, many professional opportunities offered to its students. I was able to attend the La Follette in D.C. trip and network with distinguished La Follette alumni. It was extremely beneficial to learn about their experiences and journeys. I interned both with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and Ballotpedia during my first year at La Follette, and I excelled at those jobs because of the skills I gained as a La Follette student.

Career goals?

I would like to continue my education as PhD student. I plan to practice my journalistic skills doing multimedia-related work by continuing as a videographer or writing about international affairs to work in international journalism.


Last summer, I worked as a SOAR Academic Peer Advisor at the College of Letters & Science. I advised incoming first-year UW–Madison students on classes to take and other student-life-related matters, such as student organizations, activities, etc.

This summer, I am a full-time videographer and program assistant at the Language Program Office (LPO).  My primary responsibilities are to direct and produce promotional multimedia work by attending events across language institutes for the LPO and manage the newsletters and events for the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Language Institute (MEDLI), Project Global Officer (PGO), and Intensive Summer Multilanguage Seminar (MULTI).

What experiences and skills helped you get the internship?

Technical skills such as Adobe Audition, Premiere, and Lightroom CC as well as practical skills such as WordPress, Eloqua, and MailChimp. In general, my writing and editorial skills in addition to the ability to think critically and network with others have proven to be the most valuable and reliable skills to help me get and succeed at various internships and jobs.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students

I would give the same advice that many have given me: keep an open mind and embrace the possibilities. La Follette is a great place for you to discover who you are and what you are interested in, both personally and professionally. I never thought I would be able to conduct research related to international political communication, but the professors at La Follette are extremely supportive of my academic interests and research. La Follette is not all about writing policy memos or analyses; it is about discovering yourself and growing into who you are becoming.

Wisconsin Idea

As an aspiring journalist, I believe my obligation to the Wisconsin Idea is to report and discover information and connect people with that information.

Anything else?

I speak three languages (Mandarin, English, and German), and currently, I am learning Turkish. I have lived in five different countries: China, Canada, England, United States, and Germany.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …

I am a Swiftie and I love playing Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed! I am also a bit of thrill-seeker.