Jarunee Shuller, MIPA

Portrait of Jarunee ShullerContact Jarunee


Moha Sarakham, Thailand

Undergraduate education

Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Washington State University

Professional/research interests

Education policy, economic policy, and family policy

Expected graduation date


Why a MIPA?

With my background in engineering, people always ask me why I decided to pursue a MIPA degree. I have my career goals and my personal life goals. My career goal is to be a good engineer and enjoy my work. My personal life goal is to see people achieve their dreams and live their lives. I grew up in a rural area in Thailand. When we are poor, all we think of is how we will survive tomorrow, what we will eat tomorrow, and when we will earn money to cover our bills. People focus on immediate help, but I want them to see their long-term lives. I want to find a sustainable solution. My mission is to help people build the lives that they want, not just a life of survival. I know the problem. My question is, how can I solve that problem? Thus, I decided to pursue a MIPA to figure out solutions for that problem.

Why the La Follette School?

With my full-time job, I was not sure if I should go back to school. After doing research, I knew that this program would help me figure out a way to achieve my personal goal. Since I am already working in Madison, I decided to apply to the La Follette School, which allows me to work full-time and go to class in person.

Career goals

I would like to be a politician. My plan right now is to be an engineer until I win the election. If I can make policy changes to society, I would love to return to engineering again.

How has the La Follette school set you on the path to meeting your career goals?

The program is built for each individual student and helps me see the steps of my path more clearly. The La Follette School also has many opportunities in networking and working with private and non-profit organizations.

What has been your most challenging experience at the La Follette School?

While working full-time and going to school, the most challenging experience for me is time management. However, it gives me the skill of how to work efficiently, and how to work under pressure. Some days I am so tired, but I know that this experience will pay me back later.

Before La Follette

I was working at my current job as a transmission line engineer and volunteering to help refugees in Madison. I worked my full-time job during the weekday and worked with refugees during the weekend by helping them apply for jobs, apply for school, and find available funding to help them achieve their dreams.


I am currently involved with Open Door for Refugees. The mission of the organization is to help refugees achieve their dreams. We do not have to be millionaires to be able to change people’s lives. We can change their lives by pointing them in the right direction. A lot of refugees are coming to the U.S. with some work experience already; however, the most challenging things for them are to find a job and get a certificate for their job. A lot of people do not know how to start, so what we do is point them in the right direction.

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