Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, January 22, 2018

Students reap benefits of Chicago Mayoral Fellowship

La Follette School students Eric Hepler (top row, fourth from left) and Chad Laurie (top row, fifth from left) participated in the Chicago Mayor's Office Fellowship Program, a highly competitive 11-week summer experience. La Follette School students Eric Hepler (top row, fourth from left) and Chad Laurie (top row, fifth from left) participated in the Chicago Mayor's Office Fellowship Program, a highly competitive 11-week summer experience.

Two La Follette School students gained wide-ranging experience during summer fellowships with the Chicago Mayor’s Office from June through August 2017.

“We worked on anything that came to us, running the gamut from city budget issues, governance and administration, to researching different city, county, state, and national policies,” said Eric Hepler, a student in La Follette’s Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program. “While I was assigned two long-term projects to complete through the course of the summer, I took on a lot of other projects that had turnarounds as short as two hours or as long as a month.”

For one of his projects, Hepler and a partner conducted phone interviews with officials in other cities to assemble a best-practices guide and recommendations for developing, governing, and funding development along each of its rivers.

Originally from Rochester, New York, Hepler said his first-year La Follette School courses were invaluable during the application process and on the job. “At La Follette, we learn that brevity is key,” he said. “Written assignments demand succinct, clear work.”

The highly competitive, 11-week Chicago fellowship program gives participants an in-depth overview of municipal government in the country’s third largest city. Chad Laurie, another second-year MPA student, also participated in the fellowship program.