Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Bachelor's degrees in political science (honors) and economics, and leadership certificate, UW-Madison, 2017
Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi
Why a MIPA?
In my undergrad, I started a student organization called the Alexander Hamilton Society dedicated to promoting the discussion of foreign, economic, and national security policy. I had known I was interested in politics, but previously, I had not invested enough time into learning about either domestic or international policy. I realized my love for both once I began learning more about the world.
Why the La Follette School?
I had known about the reputation of La Follette’s quality for a long time before applying. My dad brought it up to me when I came to Madison as an undergrad. The biggest draw for me, though, was the accelerated program and the possibility to get a great degree in one extra year
I am interested in wide array of jobs, but my number one career goal is to run for elected office one day, ideally as high up in the government as I can go to affect the most change I can.
How have your La Follette School courses and/or experiences set you on the path to meeting your career goals?
My goal is to be a policymaker, and to succeed, I need to expose myself to all angles of the process and all knowledge I would need for that role. The classes I have taken in La Follette have exposed me to each step of the policymaking process from conception to implementation. In the near term, I hope to use these skills, especially cost-benefit analysis, to get my first job and excel. In the long term, the depth of knowledge I have about each step in the process will make me a much better policymaker.
I am a teaching assistant in the School of Social Work teaching research methods. I teach three discussion sections per week, grade papers, and hold office hours. I applied for the position for a number of reasons, primary among which were my passion for teaching and my need to pay for school. I could have applied to a lot of graduate/project assistantships, but I knew my skills for teaching and leadership would help me excel as a TA. I have always enjoyed helping people learn, so I thought this would be a fun way to improve. Last fall, I was a TA in Political Science teaching political theory.
I was a policy intern for JA Green and Company in DC, a boutique government affairs firm.
Primary job responsibilities
I tracked legislation relevant to the defense acquisitions process, wrote internal memos, drafted talking points, prepared slides and deliverables for clients, and managed the firm’s social media profile.
While I was there, the House Armed Services Committee held the full committee mark-up for the National Defense Authorization Act. The day of the mark-up, I stayed late at the office (until 1 am) to watch the mark-up on C-SPAN, take notes, and draft talking points for my boss’s appearance on Sirius XM the next day. I spent the remainder of the week drafting a couple of deliverables for the company’s clients detailing the amount of money they received in the mark-up.
What experiences and skills helped you get the internship?
Networking. I originally got an internship based on my experience with cost-benefit analysis, but I did not get security clearance in time to keep the internship. Luckily, my uncle had a connection at the firm who was fortuitously looking for an intern at the same time. He put in a good word for me to get an internship on such short notice.
Coursework for real clients
In Cost-Benefit Analysis (PA 881), I ran a CBA on the potential for an organic certification program on a Fijian island. It was really cool to work on a project that will potentially impact real people’s lives and real outcomes for people who could benefit immensely from the potential of more money resulting from an organic certification program. I also enjoyed the fact that one of the clients worked with the founder of Fiji water.
Advice for prospective La Follette School students
The people at La Follette really make a difference. Each student I have met at this school exudes a level of friendship and willingness to help that you would be hard pressed to find at other schools, especially grad programs. La Follette captures everything amazing about UW-Madison with the added benefit of an exceptional policy school based in a state capital.
Most challenging La Follette School experience
The workload is a lot higher than my undergraduate courses. I am still adjusting to the level of expectations for success in the school.
Most rewarding La Follette School experience
When I was going through summer internship applications, one of my interviews surrounded entirely around my experience with cost-benefit analysis. It was really rewarding to be able to confidently answer each of her questions thanks to my La Follette coursework. My knowledge of cost-benefit analysis eventually resulted in me receiving an internship offer from that government agency (which I was unable to accept for other reasons).
How has the La Follette School changed the way you think about public policy?
Up until taking some of the higher-level policy analysis courses at La Follette, I thought about politics at a more basic level, the type of analysis you have in conversation with friends. After a year in the program, I have learned to think through each step of the policymaking process and appreciate all of the outcomes a policy change might have.
Over the course of my time here at Wisconsin, I have been a peer buddy in Best Buddies, where I spent time hanging out with person with a mental disability, and I volunteer weekly answering phones for the Family Court Clinic. I also occasionally mentor aspiring first-generation college students through the college application process, editing essays and helping prepare them for interviews. On campus, I am editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin International Review, a student-run international relations and foreign policy magazine I founded, and am president emeritus of the Alexander Hamilton Society, a student organization that hosts events on foreign policy, which I also founded.
Just like my political interests, I am interested in everything under the sun. All types of music, activities, sports, you name it. My favorite book is Tale of Two Cities, but my favorite book series is A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love rooting for Wisconsin athletics and never miss a football or a basketball game. My favorite sport to play is soccer. Whenever I get to chance, I am obsessed with stand-up comedy, both live and recorded. My favorite television show is Scrubs.
People would be surprised if they knew that I …
scored a touchdown on Melvin Gordon (former UW player and top-ranked running back for the Los Angeles Chargers). I once played in a charity flag football tournament, and one of the teams was filled with UW football players. We were losing 2-0 with time running out, so we threw a Hail Mary. During the play, Melvin Gordon was coming down with the ball, and I stripped it out of his hands in the end zone for a touchdown.