Public Affairs Professional Development Workshop
La Follette students are required to take the one-credit PA 800 Professional Development Workshop in their first fall semester. The Associate Director teaches the course, which focuses on essential skills students must have to be successful in graduate school and in their careers, such as policy memo writing, data visualization, job search and networking strategies, resume and cover letter development, interviewing, and policy memo writing. Students are also provided with hands-on opportunities to network with and learn from La Follette alumni and other public affairs professionals via guest speaker panels, speed networking events, mock interviews, and informational interviews.
Students can meet and work with La Follette School alumni and friends, many of whom hold important positions in international organizations; federal, state, and local government agencies; nonprofit organizations; and private business. Students and alumni connect through speed networking, mentoring, work site visits, informational interviews, and the La Follette in D.C. and La Follette in Chicago programs. Many La Follette School alumni and friends share information about their jobs and workplaces, participate in professional development functions that highlight their knowledge and experience, and provide informational interviews for students. Alumni also serve as mentors, meaning students can arrange to meet with them two or more times to talk about career opportunities, visit a work site, discuss interviews, and/or review résumés.
Students interested in learning more about alumni and friends can:
- look at the La Follette School group on LinkedIn; and
- read alumni profiles (to find alumni in certain policy fields, search the school's web site for "profile, alumni, [policy field]", or click on policy field at end of an article to see more articles related to that topic).
To get alumni contact info, students can:
- talk to the Career Services Coordinator, Associate Director, student services staff, outreach staff, or the University Relations Specialist
- look them up in the Wisconsin Alumni Association directory (access limited to University of Wisconsin–Madison alumni);
- contact them via LinkedIn;
- or find their contact information on their employer's web site.