Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ryan LeCloux, MIPA

Ryan LeCloux, MIPA

Hometown
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in political science, minors in international affairs and history, George Washington University, 2010

Research interests
Education policy and international development

Expected graduation date
May 2018

Age
29

Summer internship
Monitoring and evaluation intern, Nanubhai Education Foundation, in Gujarat, India.

What were your primary job responsibilities?
The majority of my work consisted of data collection and analysis, helping conduct interviews with existing scholars and writing up interview summaries, and providing logistical support for the scholarship selection process. I compiled data on the new cohort of scholars and created statistics summarizing the scholars (such as average level of family income, parents’ occupations, and first-generation college status) to be used for making programmatic changes and communicating to donors.

What experiences and skills helped you get the internship?
Having worked in an office setting before and managing programs made me an attractive candidate. My experience working with data was also useful. Additionally, my experience previously living abroad in Asia was a huge plus.

Why an MIPA?
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.

Why the La Follette School?
La Follette was the best fit for my academic interests, particularly in education policy. I was impressed with the school’s commitment to the Wisconsin Idea by learning and serving the community. The small class size was also attractive; I felt like it would provide a good support network and access to professors.

Career Goals
I want to be a program manager at an nongovernmental organization that does education policy and/or development work. I am also interested in doing program evaluation work for education and social policy programs.

How have your La Follette School courses and/or experiences set you on the path to meeting your career goals?
The courses Program Evaluation and Performance Management taught me new skills that I used during my internship and will be useful in my future career. Both offer the opportunity to work with real-world clients and the opportunity to live out the Wisconsin Idea.

Project Assistantship
I am a project Assistant with La Follette School Professor Menzie Chinn. I assist him in collecting economic data for his textbook.

What courses have you taken in which you’ve done work for real clients?
In Cost-Benefit Analysis,I am working on a project to evaluate whether our client should provide a subsidy for households in Zambia to purchase solar cookstoves. In my Performance Management class, we are working with a mental health clinic to help them develop indicators to evaluate their performance.

La Follette School Student Association
I am the Program Liaison for LSSA. I attend La Follette School department meetings, communicate the interests of students to department faculty and staff, and relay staff and faculty initiatives and priorities to students.

Anything else?
My number one passion in life is to travel. To date I have been to 28 countries and I am always thinking about where my next adventure will be.