Series: Admissions

Careers in Public Policy

December 16, 2020 1:02:00
Kaltura Video

This Webinar features Jennifer Niggemeier and alumni as they discuss how the Ford School helps students achieve their career goals and the alumni network.


Hello everyone.

Welcome. Im Jennifer dig admire,

the Director of Graduate
Career Services and

Alumni Relations at
the Ford School.

We're delighted that
you are joining us

today for this webinar around.

Careers in public policy
and the services that

graduate career services provides

to students to assist in that.

So we're going to an
opportunity to hear from

four very distinguished alumni.

And then I'll just share a
little bit about their work.

They're going to
talk a little bit

about the impact of their work,

how the Ford school
prepared them for that.

And we'll talk a little bit about

the services that Career Services

offers to students to assist in

your career path if

you choose to come
to the Ford School.

So we want to hear
your questions.

So feel free to use the
chat room to ask questions.

We'll have the panelists
talk at first,

and then we'll open up.

We'll leave some time at the
end for those questions.

So my hope is that you

will feel the love that
all of our panelists tab

towards the Ford School
and get a sense of who we

are as a school and

the community feeling
that we have here.

And how are our
panelists have grown

in their time that they
were at Ford and beyond.

So I want to thank all
the panelists for taking

the time to be part
of this and I'm

going to turn it over
to them in a minute.

But first I want to share
a little bit about what,

how we think about
graduate career services

at the Ford School.

We talk about our services as

providing four main functions.

We provide first
career information,

helping you explore what you can

do with this policy degree.

And then informations and
then connections, right?

So connected to employers
were connected to our alumni.

In fact, Alumni Relations
is embedded right

within graduate career
services because

there's such an interrelation
and interconnection between

our students and our alumni

who stay very much
connected to the school.

And then we offer
lots of strategy.

So how do you get
from here to there in

terms of the tools that you
need for applying to jobs,

in terms of your
interviewing skills

and negotiation skills,

and just understanding
strategies that

may be different in
different sectors.

And all of that is
surrounded by support.

So we are supporting

students in the highs
and lows that are

inevitable when you don't get

an internship with a job
that you really wanted,

or it falls through
because of COBIT.

And we will support
you and help you find

alternate plans and
see opportunities.

And then we also provide
significant financial support.

For those of you that are in
pursuing the MPP program.

There is a required internship.

And oftentimes those are

unpaid and we have quite a bit of

support to assist students

into frame some of those costs.

I am also involved

in the Ford Schools
Leadership Initiative,

and I hope we'll
have some time to

talk about that as well.

But the goal with the leadership,

if you think about the
toolkit that you get through

the curriculum, here, is.

Is one really important
aspect of your marketability,

but the leadership
initiative is also

about how you show up
with that toolkit.

So do you have the
emotional intelligence and

self-awareness and the
ability to lead self,

lead others lead institutions,
width that toolkit.

And so what we'll
talk about that in

the panelists will have things
to add to that as well.

So with that, you
have their bios,

we're gonna drop those in
the chat if you haven't

already seen now seen them.

But I'm going to turn it over to

the panelists now and
I'm going to ask each

of them to share a
little bit about

their current work, the
organization therein.

Their role is, and
how they think about

the desired impact
of what they're,

what they're trying
to do in this work.

I think one of the things
you'll hear is that

their career paths and
sectors are very different.

But the common thread
is that everyone

is wanting to make an
impact in some way.

And so I'm going to let them
share their stories on that.

So with that, Meg and

I'm wondering if you would start

and tell us a little
bit about yourself.

Sure, I'd love to
and Hello everyone.

Welcome. I know I can't
see most of your faces.

I'm glad you're all here.

My name is Mike investor.

I graduated from Ford,

I guess, a year and a half ago.

And since then I've
been working as

a data analytics and Research

Strategist at fourth
economy consulting.

So we're a consulting firm
based out of Pittsburgh,

but we work nationally to

support community and
economic development.

And I get the joy of kind of

mixing data analytics and
research and strategy.

And my work, probably
largely because

of all of the skills I gained at

four and I'm able to do both.

Well, which is great and has,

let me do this really cool
role of a hybrid of both.

And in terms of the impact of

the work even before
Cove it, I, you know,

I think part of what drew me to

fourth economy was
that it was really a,

an organization that
collaboratively works

with communities to help figure

out strategies to help them

thrive economically
and otherwise.

And with code that we've been,

I guess I would say lucky in
some sense that we get to

been able to work on some really

interesting, cool
impactful projects.

So a lot of communities
have come to

us with help identifying

recovery strategies
and ways to help

their community get through

what COBIT as bringing to them.

So that's been really cool,
interesting, impactful,

if not, if not,

if not difficult work to do.

Awesome. Thank you.

Welcome. Lose. How
about you? Hi everyone.

Thank you for having me
always happy to come

back and talk to forties
and prospective forties.

It, it really is

a good place to find and meet
people and make friends.

But everything else
in between as well.

I am currently the
Research Manager,

as well as small business
services manager with

Wayne County Economic

Wayne County is
the largest county

in the state of Michigan and

also home to the city of Detroit.

As well as a big chunk of
the Detroit metro area.

Currently, I am at

managing Most of

our economic development
response to covert.

So since March, have managed

a number of small business

and service sector
grant programs,

you know, upwards of
$70 million worth of

grants to small businesses
across Wayne County.

Currently, hoof, trying to
get through the last push of

our Cures Act funds towards

service sector
employees that have

been impacted by the
most recent shutdown.

So restaurant
workers, hospitality,

entertainment, getting
$6 million out to then.

And this work has largely
been made possible,

both by the skills I gained at

Ford and the
connections that I made

there that have allowed me

to connect with people
doing similar work.

So yeah, mostly working
in economic development,

small business support
services since I left Ford.

Awesome. Thank you.

Ali. Hi everyone. Hi, Jennifer.

Thanks so much for having me.

My name is Ali embassy than I am

currently a Public Health Advisor

at the National
Institutes of Health.

I graduated with my MPP and
my MPH from the University in

2017 and was fortunate
to have been selected as

a Presidential Management
Fellow that year.

There was, I think a week before

Trump's inauguration that I

received notice that
I was selected.

So talk about a really
interesting time to join

the federal service
through the PMF.

I was I began my PMF journey at

the US Department of
Health and Human Services

where I've worked in the
Office of the Secretary.

I've worked at the
Assistant Secretary

for Policy in evaluation,

which is basically the
health policy shop

of the federal government's.

I've worked in the Office
of refugee resettlements.

I've worked at the
NIH and I'm just

a horribly disciplined person

or I guess to put it another way,

a more favorable maybe to

myself is I tenses
sort of Babel and

interdisciplinary work
that allows me to

see how different
pieces meshed together.

And I think that that's part

and parcel of my training
at the Ford School,

which is health
policy is one thing,

social policies, one thing,

education policy is one thing.

But to be honest,

I see those all as central to

what I do every day
even at the NIH.

And I'm really excited
to be working on

some just groundbreaking
new work to sort of

bridge the world of
science and policy,

especially during this covert
pandemic because I do have

the tragic privilege of at

the NIH during this once
in a century events.

And so every day we go to

work and get to work
on the pendant Macon,

I think all Americans are better

for what we're doing at the NIH.

I look forward to sharing a
bit more as today goes on.

So thanks to Claire.

Alright, so I'll hop in here
with more help healthy.

My name is Claire engines
and I'm currently

the Associate Vice President
of Public Policy at Humana,

which is a large Medicare
Advantage plan itself.

To Jang, I spent a lot of

my time thinking about
prescription drugs

and also spend a lot of time

thinking about the
pandemic like most of you.

But I think one thing
I'll just illustrate in

terms of my personal
experience at the voids.

Was that obviously lots

of opportunities and I
think that Ali said it

really well of
different policy areas

provide you with
different perspectives.

And I think that that
was one thing that

really equipped me well for

thinking about my job today

and kind of roles that
I've played in the past.

And I also kinda personally
believe that policies only

as effective as the
individuals who

receive the outcomes of
those interventions.

So upon graduation
from the Ford School,

I spent quite a bit of time
at Accenture and consulting,

really thinking about when
you change provisions in

the Medicaid program or you

change provisions in
the Medicare program.

What does that mean to
the end of individuals

who receive those
services and how can we

operationalize them and implement

them in a way that is
most effective for them.

I'm not necessarily most
effective for the system,

but for the individuals
who this system

is designed to support anything

that there were lots of pieces of

my four tall education that
really made it possible

for me to bring multiple
perspectives to

the table when having
those conversations.

So I think you've
heard from all of us

really trying to think
about who perceives that,

you know, the benefit of

that particular policy
at the end of the day.

And I really think
that that's a lens,

but I was given from
the board school.

Awesome. Thank you. You
know, it's interesting.

I'm sitting here thinking, wow, I

wasn't expecting this to

be so heavy on coal bed.

And yet I'm also thinking,

Who is there anyone
else I could've

invited that wouldn't be

talking about the
impact of covert.

And I think the
answer to that is no.

Like that. The reality of that

this is a policy that
are this is an issue

that policy has needed to

address and that you've
all been equipped to

be able to adapt and jump on

those issues and needed
the world needs this.

So kind of kind of an
interesting outcome

in the panel that I
wasn't thinking about.

So I want to build
on what they lose

a sad about the value
of connections.

And like you specifically
talked about the, the,

the people that you met and
the value of the all of

those opportunities to connect

and how that's
impacting in your work.

And so I'm wondering
if each of you could

maybe talk a little
bit about that,

this sense of what stands
out from your time at Ford,

that's helping you make

the difference that
you just talked about?

How what how did we equip you?

In whatever ways?

Yeah, I think for me definitely

some hard and soft skills

obtained in the classroom
and do group projects.

But I think particularly
the connections,

especially working
in local government.

I know people all over

the country working for either
cities or counties that

are managing the
same exact response

that I'm managing right now.

And including as per
as a bot net Fellow.

So I was per donut Fellowship
at the Ford School.

Which is a great program.

It did kind of helped me
put my foot in the door

into local government via

the internship at
the mayor's office,

which I will tell you the
day after I graduated,

the mayor's office was
calling me and saying,

hey, we need you to come
interview for this.

And so that was great.

But also as this pandemic

hit us and I was trying to figure

out how to run programs.

I knew I could call
people all over

the country who were doing
the same thing and ask me,

you know, basic things
from like, hey,

where are you hosting
your grant application

to how are you guys

interpreting these
these regulations

related to the cares actor?

How are you guys
using these funds

in a very manageable wave.

And most recently,
as we were launching

our grant program
for service workers,

we were trying to figure out

some questions
regarding inclusion

of immigrants and kind

of the regulations
that go into that.

And I quickly thought,

I actually know someone in

the Los Angeles
mayor's office from

bot net in they are doing
the same exact thing.

And, and it's LA,

they have most certainly
thought about this.

And it was a quick phone call.

It was just having
those people all over

the country who who

loves to do the same
work and they get it.

And and you know

that they're going to have
some feedback for you.

Meg. Yeah.

Maybe talk a little bit
about a different kind of

connection and how
it's impacted my work.

But like lose I enter,

I interned at the
Detroit mayor's office.

And my summer between my first,

second years and I
had the opportunity

to work on a feasibility study

for universal pre-K for the city,

which was which I used like
everything I had learned at

4d and more to kind of put
some of that work together.

But what's, what's been
pretty cool about my work

now is that I've had,

I've been able to talk about

that opportunity and use it to

actually bring in more
work or are firms.

So I just finished an
economic impact analysis

of the childcare industry

for Allegheny County
where Pittsburgh sets.

And I've been doing
some child care work

and Newport, Rhode Island.

And this is all because of

the this particular work

that I did in Detroit
that's on my resume

that I'm able to talk
about and showcase

a little bit and has
been really interesting

to get potential clients

and has been a good way for me to

kinda find my niche at my firm

as well in terms of
what I'm working on.

Maybe I can just continue go
next because I'll continue

to sort of thread of working in

Detroit and what
happened afterwards,

I did my policy
internship at the City of

Detroit health departments and

they didn't want to let go of me.

In fact, I I say to my
internship ended I ended up

doing pro bono work

while I was a third-year
graduate students,

helping continue the
work that we were

doing on infant mortality
rates in the city,

on reversing water shut offs,

on thinking about new modes
of refugee resettlement.

This was in 2016. So
right before things

sort of got bad for the
resettlement regime.

Beyond that though,
having been in

the federal government now
for about three years.

The four degrees so marketable

and it's something
that people know.

The Ford names sort of
describe to you your resume.

That they're gonna
get someone who's

really good at a lot of things.

That could be policy analysis,

that could be Policy Writing,

that could be on
briefing principles.

All of those three
things I've done,

and I've gotten feedback

indicating that this
is really good stuff.

Forgive the immodest steam
over here to sort of talk

about what we're doing and
how we're doing it well.

And I think it's really
important for you all

to know that, you
know, their skills,

especially hard skills that you

probably get it
any policy school,

you know how to write briefs,

how to sort of differentiate
between different kinds of

analyses for four
briefing principles.

But I think the distinct
difference of the Ford School

is how robust the
reputation it has.

And I think the
quantitative element

two is something that everyone

around the country knows at

the Office of the
Secretary of HHS,

I work, I work with a ton of

Harvard grads, Johns
Hopkins breads.

And these are folks from

the Kennedy School,
from PhD programs.

And, and there are so
many ford alum's there,

which I think speaks to

the distinct skills that

you gain in terms
of being able to

translate policy for
diverse stakeholders

and being able to sort of

shine above the fray because

it's really hard to be noticed

in the federal
government any place,

let alone at a
place that is known

for its health policy bonfire.

So I think it's
really interesting.

My experience has been really
interesting to see boy,

people really know what the
Ford School differences.

And I've had the great fortune

of living that the
last few years.

And I'll kind of hop onto that

with a very actually
similar experience.

So prior to going
to the Ford School,

I worked in the
federal government at

the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid.

And as I was waiting

my options and thinking
about what I wanted to do,

one of the things that was really

challenging for me was, hey,

do I want to do

a part-time program or

do I want to do a
full-time program?

And thinking about
what that meant,

not only for my work
experience perspective,

but my ability to really dig
in to a graduate program.

And, you know, lots of mentors
who I this long time ago.

That's when in time 20122011.

In 2012, a lot of
mentors that are still

great advisors to me today

said Michigan Go to
the Ford School.

And that's something
that I definitely DO.

It was kinda the best advice
that I'd ever be given.

And then I think I'm kind of more

of a personal element
that all kinda share.

I graduated in 2014
and I have a lot of

friends that I'm still

very close with from
the Ford School.

And I think the one other
thing that you many

nine kind of put on your list in

terms of things to think about

is the network that you
build with your classmates.

And I think that while some of

my closest friends maybe

doing things in
international policy.

Totally and completely
different for me.

They are always great
sounding boards

per, for professional advice.

And I think that
that's another thing

that the Ford School Network

really brings to you as part of

your experience is a lot

of different people with
different perspectives that

really can be that I always

think of having a professional
board of advisers.

And so a lot of my Ford
School classmates are on

my board of advisors when I'm

thinking about different
career decisions.

And that's something that

is definitely got a lot of
hard quantitative skills.

But I think that you put
that in as software column,

that's really in terms
of the value of awesome.

And Claire, before you mute,

there's a question that was
dropped in the chat about,

Did any of you take
certificate programs?

But one thing we
haven't talked about

yet are dual degrees.

So I'm wondering if
you could talk about

the takeaways of dual degrees and

any of you that have done
either certificates are duals.

Sure. I'll check them and
I did I did not do it.

You all know why,

but I was the single
degree in February,

but I will say that one of

the things for me that
was really attractive

about Ford at Michigan
was that there are lots

of opportunities to take
classes in other programs.

And so I think that BAD

maximizing the value of
Michigan is definitely

something that is very unique to

the Ford School's policy program

as opposed to other places.

So if you're really
interested in, in,

in administrative
law for some reason,

they want to get into
the regulatory world.

You can go and take the leg
reg class at the law school.

I was not brave enough for that,

but some people worry.

You know, I took a bunch
of different classes of

the business that we're
really focused on,

the business of healthcare.

So learning about
that perspective,

in addition to the more a
policy based perspective,

also took classes at

the School of Public
Health, a clinical lands.

And so really thinking

about as you're trying
to pull together

the various different tools that

really help the policy area
that you're interested in.

Think about it in
terms of the scale of

not only the hard skills and

those kind of relationships
that you'll build a Ford.

But also kind of the value
in the power of Michigan,

which is something that you

also can't quantify in a
lot of waste? Oh, yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. I think I have
a mental walk, right.

I think of you as public health

because I know you
took classes up there.

So I'm wondering, and
we lose in particular,

can you also speak to that

certificates or joules?

Yeah, I did. I did do

a dual masters with
applied economics.

And mostly, you know,

did a lot of math that I'm never,

ever going to do
again in my life.

But it was a very
quantitatively heavy Program.

And I think more than anything,

it's a really good signal
anywhere that I go that you can

give me all of the numbers in

the data and that I
will figure it out.

And I do that a lot
from my team now,

I'm usually the person
who's looking at

the numbers and trying to figure

out if we're meeting our goals,

if With the grants,

demographically what the
distributions looking like,

what it needs to look
like, setting targets.

So that has been really hopeful.

I will also say,
like Claire said,

you know, having access to

so many other
schools and program.

I did also take a number of
courses in urban planning.

And I took that legal aspects
of urban planning class,

which is really hard and it is.

But I took a pass fail because

I just really wanted
to understand it and

I can sit there and
hold my own now in

conversations with planners as

someone in economic development,

that is so important,

I just haven't
taken that class to

be able to sit
there and say, yes,

I understand zoning and yes,

I understand all of these
other things right.

Of ways and all
these other things

that come into the conversation

when we're talking about planning

and development in the city.

So I think that was really
valuable, of course as well.

Yeah. Like like I'm
clear and loose.

I took I didn't I don't
have a certificate,

but I took courses
all over the place.

So some schools
you've already heard,

but also I took a
graphic design course

in the School of Information,

which has been really helpful
as I do data visualization.

I took classes in the school
and new school social work,

the School of Planning.

And I think in my
work now it just,

it's just not single
focus, right?

We're doing lots and lots
of different projects.

Sometimes focused on
transportation or

maybe utility is so kind
of typical urban policy.

But then there's education work

that we're doing
and workforce work.

So I think certainly having,

having taken courses
from all over the place

and learning from
my peers who had

previous careers and
previous expertise in

different industries and
different buckets of of

policy expertise have all
really helped me kind

of be able to not only know
a little bit about a lot,

but also kind of no.

Okay. I don't know a
little bit about this.

I do know how to figure it out.

And so certainly add, Ford
is interdisciplinary,

but then also that that was

a huge draw for me
to Michigan as well,

was that I'd be able
to take courses

in some different schools.

Awesome. So I want to
shift gears a little bit.

We talked a lot about the toolkit

and it's clear you guys are

using it in the impactful
work that you are doing.

But Ali, I'm wondering if you
can lead us off in talking

about your own leadership
development and how,

how Ford and opportunities
helped you grow as a leader?

I think it's a great question.

I just tackle Claire's comments.

I think that the
genuine friendships

that you develop with fewer
Ford School classmates,

it's something that
I'm, I still tap

into and take advantage of,
you know, three years out.

My anytime I want to engage

in a sort of robust
policy debate,

I know I can count on my Ford
School classmates for that.

And it's genuinely happens

maybe a couple of times a week.

I think beyond that, there

are a couple sort of so
I did do a dual degree,

I did a Masters of Public Health

and it's my public policy degree.

And as I alluded to, I was I was

fortunate that had been
selected as a PMF.

Jennifer and the Ford School
and the Graduate services.

This the support that
they offered was just

absolutely essential for me

to have the kind
of experience that

I have today in the
federal government.

And because I have
that comparison of

the School of Public Health and I

love the School Public
Health, nothing against them.

But the level of support
just wasn't the same.

After I was selected,

Jennifer reached out maybe
within a day or two.

And Xi and others at the
graduate's career services,

they sent me a
portfolio of packets of

information of people in

the federal government that
are Ford School alumni,

other grads from the
university that are alumni.

And I landed so many interviews

at the State Department across

HHS at the EPA

because of those lists
that Jennifer provided.

And so I think the leadership
development is just

it's really there's
no comparison.

Ford and I know this
because I've spoken.

So others who've gotten
the PMF programs

around the country and

they just didn't have
the level of support.

They were sort of swimming in

the sea without any
kind of guidance.

And I had a huge,

huge advantage because of

the resources that Jennifer

and the graduate career
services offered.

So I am really grateful
for that and that's

why when Jennifer asks
for any kind of support,

I'm always there because
that's the kind of network we

had where we support one
another at all times.

And it continues whether
it's three years out

of grad school or 20
years out of grad school.

Others though, Matt,
how have you grown

personally and how did for
to help you with that,

whether it's extra curricular,
co-curricular activities,


or I'll throw out there are
a couple of things in there.

And so when I was
at the Ford School,

had a lot of different
opportunities to

be involved outside of classroom.

Probably more than
Jennifer wanted to

CB I think on on
somebody instances,

Zuo Chu my examples that
I'll throw out y I'm

just that applies in my
professional life today.

So there's an every year there is

a student member of
the Alumni Board.

So my second year I was a
member of the Alumni Board.

And while at the time,

I don't think I truly

appreciated the
experience that I was

getting in terms of

the exposure or purchase
a patient on a board.

Today, I support kind of one of

the senior leaders
of my company and

his participation in one of
our trade association boards.

So at the time I

definitely saw it as an
opportunity to be involved

in the Ford School in
a different way to

meet alumni through
the Ford School.

But now I kinda

think those experiences
from participating in

those board meetings
and think about it and

apply it to kind of the
work that I do today.

Just in terms of
I've got a brief,

I'll make sure that
my leader is ready to

participate in
those conversations

and provide our perspective.

And I think that that
was really kind of

a leadership opportunity
that I took as part

of my education at
board that really

applies in a very different
way as part of my work today.

So that's one example.

And I think another example

is I think that this
is still going.

There's a partnership
with the policies

Hall at the University
of Toronto,

where every year there's kind of

a taste competition, so to speak.

Between students of
the Ford School and

students at the
University of Toronto.

And at my second year
of graduate school,

we went to Toronto,

which required finding someone
to manage the logistics

of getting 25 for students
to Toronto and back.

And so while that may seem like

a little bit of a bizarre tasks

to call a leadership experience.

There's something about
having the responsibility of

getting your
classmates to a place,

executing the conference,
and then getting back.

That really kinda teaches you how

to manage large-scale efforts.

Just, you know, not only from
a classroom perspective,

but taking that and say,

you know, how, how would
I do this differently?

Learning a little bit more
about management in a bit of

a weird way in terms

of getting people to Canada
and back all in one place.

Peace. Awesome. Thanks.

Anyone else? I'll
jump. And Jennifer,

I think this is maybe

an interesting way to think

about leadership and not quite
what you're looking for.

But I,

and I saw there was a
question in the chat to about

locations that's maybe ties
into that a little bit.

But I part, part

of a small part of why I

chose the forest
will actually not.

The biggest part was
that I was really

excited to be com I'm

from Michigan and to get a
chance to be near Detroit.

And all of the really
exciting things that were

happening there with
so many talented,

smart people working
for that community.

And ultimately, you see
I'm not, I'm just right.

I can fix PRG and had kind of

a this is where my
husband's from,

his Pittsburgh and we decided

the best thing for our family
was to move to Pittsburgh,

but it kind of throw
a wrench and some

of my initial plans.

And Jennifer remembers some

of those long conversations
that were obvious.

But I think one thing
that really helped me,

I had built this whole network
in Detroit and New York,

which is where I was before.

But Jennifer made

some really incredible
connections for me.

There are four columns
in Pittsburgh.

There are, they're everywhere.

And actually through afford alum

is how I heard about the
job that I'm in now.

So direct connection there.

But then on top of that,

I think I was competent in

my ability to reach out
to folks and network.

So I did a lot of

cold emailing pretty
senior folks in the city.

So people running organizations,

senior folks and government
to learn about what was

happening in Pittsburgh and

kinda get my foot in the door.

And people were incredibly

responsive and I had a
lot of coffee with a lot

of really interesting
senior people who I

still keep in touch with and

meat and my work all the time.

And I think that that,

that networking in that comfort,

comfort with networking comes

from some of the
skills I got it for,

but also there were just tons and

tons of opportunities
to meet folks.

We have these like
Alumni lunches or, or,

you know, career
roundtables where

he'd get to meet alumni
and talk to folks.

And that really
helps to build them

I competence to and being able

to reach out and

become well-connected
and a brand new city.

So a little maybe I'm
out exactly the answer.

You're looking for
Jennifer, but absolutely.

Model the way so the opportunity

for us to engage with alumni,

have students engage with alumni.

It's modeling the
way, in the way that

you guys are now modeling for,

for prospective students on

what do you do with this degree

and and who could be

in five years or two
years or ten years.

And I think Claire's
talking about

being involved with the
Alumni Board as well.

Like it gives you that
opportunity and we do that.

We do that very intentionally
through career services

with alumni mock interviews,
alumni office hours.

We do something this
year called 40 Fridays.

And we normally do
and annual dc trip,

but obviously with covert
that is being altered.

So we're taking the
opportunity to go bigger and

better in a virtual world.

And we're gonna do three days of

career panels and
alumni connections and

opportunities were
building in a trivia,

afford school trivia
night that will flow into

a an opportunity to go into

any number of breakout rooms
on different policy areas.

And we're including alum's
all around the world.

So as of right now we've got like

six countries represented and,

and 15 different US states,

lumps from different
states involved.

So Cove, it has been horrendous.

But we have used the,

the reality of being

virtual to see what are the
opportunities that we can,

can make come from this.

So, yeah, those are all
the kinds of programs.

And so with that, I
guess I want to ask

the panelists as
well because part of

this was about how

about the services of
graduate career services?

Some of you were early
alluded to this,

but are there other
things that you tapped

into from employers,
from programs,

from the leadership
assessments that added

value to your experience

from what what Graduate
Career Services offers.

I'll hop in on that
one. So I noted

earlier that bright after
leaving the Ford School,

I spent some time in consulting,

really working with a lot of
public sector clients and

health care clients at and
that was an opportunity.

It was made possible for
me by the Career Center.

No advance or buts about that as

so Accenture had come
in, recruited on campus.

And I think the
really great thing

about that was not only did

the Career Center
opened up the door for

that role to become an
opportunity for me,

but because I had

a good relationship
with the Ford School,

extends your SMP back to
do recruiting activities,

which was another
learning and developed

inactivity for me as a
professional individual.

So I kinda got the best of

both worlds like in
terms of not only having

the opportunity to have
forward set me up with

a great career choice that
come out of see school,

but also have the opportunity
to cycle Bacharach slot,

cycle back around on the
backend and learn about kind

of different interviewing
experiences and

things like that because of

my connection to the Ford School.

Yeah, I would say that bot
net fellowship is probably

the most valuable
thing for me in terms

of setting myself
up for my career

after Ford and and
Graduate Career Services,

was was I think, you know,

just incredibly supportive in

making sure that my
experience was a good one.

It's really great if I think
goanna is a great thing

for people who actually intended

to stay in the city of Detroit.

Obviously anyone else, you know,

it's a great learning experience,

but it really helped me
put my foot in the door.

The other advantage of
being in bone, that is,

it comes a time at Ford where

everyone is stressed out
about their internship.

And you have a number of folks
who still don't know and,

you know, rest assured
that you will find

something you with there is

enough support to
help you do that.

But I remember starting the year

and I knew where
my internship was.

And the only other thing that
I have to think about was,

what did I want to make out

of this internship opportunity?

Because internships can be,

they can be very exciting
and very useful.

Or you can just be kind of

writing a report that
doesn't go anywhere,

somewhere in the world.

And and I, you know,

I went in and I had
already kind of

sat down and had coffee with

a few people that I
knew when to trade.

And and I let my manager no,
I'm like, hey, you know,

I know I work for you,
but I'd really like

to work in these
other areas as well.

So how can I do both and
really setting yourself up to

do to go into the areas
that you want to go into.

I think that was
really valuable in

afford provided a lot
of that supports it

helped me think through
how I find my way.

Because especially

being a first-generation
college graduate,

I from the city of Detroit,

from the immigrant
community there.

Like I didn't know how to

navigate these
professional spaces.

And I didn't know how to advocate

for myself and
professional spaces.

And four, did provide
a lot of that support.

And honestly my peers,

I had a lot of peers
who were like, hey,

this is, this is what you
say, This is what you do.

This is how you ask
for what you need

and that was very valuable.

Awesome. Thank you.

So so let's talk about Detroit
and the location issue.

I know that came up in the chat

and I know it's often a question,

does, does everyone
go to Detroit, right?

Ipa is, if I want to be in
California city government,

It's the right school for me.

So you guys can
share a little bit

about the reach of what you

know your classmates are

doing and what you had access to.

That be great to address
some of those questions.

Maybe I can start. So first
I'll say that Ann Arbor

is probably the best
college town in America.

I mean, you can look
at the rankings.

They typically
haven't near the top.

I love Ann Arbor.

It's such a great
college town to be.

And that's probably obvious.

I stayed there for three
degrees. I couldn't pulled away.

So Ann Arbor's just
such a great talent

in such a great place to be.

And then I think the
proximity to Detroit,

like Claire and lose and
others mentioned. It's huge.

There's so many things
happening in Detroit from

a policy perspective that

it makes you want to tap into it.

I had the opportunity
to think about

my policy internship in Geneva,

working with the UNHCR,

the High Commission for Refugees,

or Detroit Health Department.

And for some people that
might be an obvious,

this was in 2016, so

things were a little bit
different back then.

But for me it was, it was
really obvious to stay in

the Troy and to want to
work in that context.

Because what you gain from

a local government perspective is

so transferable across
so many sectors,

whether it's global work,

whether it's national,
state, county work.

And so I think that proximity to

so many exciting things in
Wayne County in Detroit,

and then living in Ann Arbor,
if that's what you choose.

Honestly, it's one of
the most exciting places

to be right now,
southeast Michigan.

So I highly, highly endorse.

Yet I have friends from

my class who are all
over the country.

So and probably
also international.

But I have friends in
Denver and in California,

and in Portland, Oregon
and in Portland, Maine.

And of course a good
continued in DC,

in Chicago as well.

But books are kind of nice
and nice and spread out.

And I think, you know,

like I said, I'm
here in Pittsburgh,

which you wouldn't think
they'd before to lumped here,

but there are and I just hired

a BH order them to
be on staff as well.

So we're we're building
slowly but surely

building the contingent
here in Pittsburgh as well.

I mean, I would say in terms

of access to the
rest of the world,

the University of Michigan
as a whole is a force.

There is nowhere in
the world you will go.

That is that if you
were a Michigan shirt,

you won't find someone who
will say Go Blue anywhere.

You know, I've I've
gone as far as,

you know, Ecuador
in the Netherlands,

in Michigan, hoodie and
people are like yay.

And the ford alumni
network is no different.

We're very tight, very connected.

Spirit days will always
help you find people and

you'll be surprised you say they

really had a spirit
thing of them.

Uh-huh. Not surprising.

But but I think the
approximate to Detroit to

in in the University
of Michigan continues

to build that system
of connection.

They do have a bus that

runs regularly back and
forth and arbors, great.

There's a lot to do, but

there's also a lot
to do in Detroit.

I actually, as part of my
work with Wayne County,

I'm working on the Detroit
Center of Innovation at

the University of Michigan has
announced they're building

in the heart of
downtown to trade.

So a whole new area of work

around new technologies and

fun things that is coming
in the years to come.

And I will, I will
fight anyone over

this southwest detroit has

the best Mexican food in the US.

I'm serious. I will help
you find it if you need it.

And I'm sure we can talk about

all the other ethnic
enclaves that we

have in the Detroit metro
area starving, you know,

the best food you can find,

anywhere from African to
Mexican to Asian food.

It's all there.

It really is
inexperience and yeah,

I would love to show
people around Detroit if

you come out this way or I lose,

I'm going to take you up on that.

So I know we are at time.

I don't see any more questions.

I just want to turn it
back to the panelists

for any last advice
you would give

to students who are

trying to decide whether
to apply or if they apply.

Is this the right
school for them?

It's is the right time.

What would you offer
from your experience?

I've been thinking of Jennifer's

common at the onset of a how you

didn't really think about this as

an event that would touch
the pandemic might yet.

We're all talking about
the pandemic and I

think the comments that Claire,

Megan, and lose mention,

I think also touch upon
the sort of seem today,

which is. Interdisciplinary
and flexibility.

And I think, you
know, lose mentioned

this with the internship

But if you're a
prospective student,

that means you think this is

the next step in your career.

You think this is
good, change, time,

change careers are a
good time to supplement

your career with a
really robust degree.

I think it's really important

to remember that what I think

the Ford School does
really well is it takes

and people from all backgrounds,

all sort of competencies
and proficiencies and says,

okay, well what do
you want to do?

And I'm someone who started

grad school thinking
that I wanted to work in

mental health contexts in

refugee camps in the Middle
East and North Africa.

It's a passion area of mine,

but I think the openness,

being able to have a
skill set that does,

I think still allow me
maybe next week if I

decide to go work in
those refugee camps.

And also at the same time work at

the federal government during a

once in a century pandemic,

I think is a testament
to the kind of skills,

perspectives, and
personalities that

she'll meet at the Ford School.

And I think it starts with
the admissions team and

Beth and the Career Services
that Jennifer directs.

And so I think

it's really important
to keep in mind that if

you're someone who
has some certainty

over what you want to do or

no certainty about
what you want to do.

I think the Ford School
is a really good place

to explore your interests

and passions and you'll

come out on the other
end of it better for it.

Now, one thing that

hopefully you can get a
sense of from hearing from

all of us is that I think
that if you care about

making an impact on society
and the social good,

I think that, that's

a huge reason why I chose the
Ford School and Michigan,

I think it's a really big
focus and it's part of

part of every class that I

took and every person
that I spoke to,

they want to do good.

And I think that's a really cool,

unique thing about our program.

I know it's a, it's
a stressful time,

it's hard decisions to make
and it's lots of work,

but I promise you'll be OK.

And I think with certainly
for me what's board?

I got out of that,

what I put into it.

So, you know, I was
looking for a network.

I was looking for skills,

I was looking for experiences

and all of the things that I

kind of intentionally set
out to to get for myself.

I did did get and then
I know that I had peers

and classmates who
were looking for

other things and that's
what they got as well.

So it's really a
place and it's really

a cool grad school
is a really unique,

cool time to do some,

you know, be selfish and think

about yourself and do
some self introspection

and discover what you want

to do and who you want to serve.

So I love Michigan,

Go Blue. Love that in Iowa.

Before you guys wrap up,

I want to add to that,

that one of the
things that we are

adding a building on what
make and just said is,

we are, we are planning
to offer all students,

graduate, MPP students on the
time of their internship.

The opportunity to work
with a leadership coach

in the time that they are
out in on that assignment.

Right, for that very
reason of helping

to put together the
tools and the who,

the how the, how am I
showing up at work?

And we're super
excited about that.

And Pretty innovative Hun,

I have the joy of
putting that all

together and finding
coaches for a 100 students.

And actually like I'm totally
geeked about doing not.

So if you choose to come here,

we are hopeful that that will be

continuing next year as well.

Be jealous alarms, be jealous.

Other closing advice?

Yeah. I would say I
think that there's

a place in the Ford School
for almost everyone.

Like if you're really
set and you think,

you know what you're doing
or where you want to go.

Like, it'll help you
kind of go deeper

into that place as you're
trying to figure it out.

It's a really good place

to figure out what you want to do

in dabble in different things

and do internships or whatnot.

And if you think you know what
you want to do, you know,

there's a good
chance that you will

come in and change your mind
or find something else.

Just go in any direction

like you said, you
know, you could.

I also work in

the immigrant rights space as

well as economic development,

and I have switched back
and forth so many times,

so seamlessly One day I'm
running an immigrant,

you know, ID program.

And another year i'm

working on grants for
small businesses.

And I think into the future as I

develop those things and

learning how to
merge them together.

Written work at the intersection

of immigrant rights on
economic development.

And so there really is
room for you to find

yourself or go
deeper into what you

love if you already
found it or anything.

Is that a lot today?

And I couldn't agree more.

Great advice across the board.

So I think the one thing
that I would say is clearly,

you know, all has got

really versatile education
at the Ford School.

Lots of different skills,

that's lots of
different perspectives.

And I think the advice that I've

gotten in the past is really,

look at those classes
that are available.

What are you going to be
learning in the classroom?

And then think a lot of us have

shared a lot of personal tidbits.

And I think that's another
piece that you can

put into your decision
making matrix.

But what makes you excited?

And you should really kinda
look at the classless.

You should take anything
that you heard today.

You should go surf LinkedIn,

see what people from the Ford
School are doing, anything.

Those will all give you
some ideas as to kind of

what your opportunities would

look like coming out
of the Ford School.

And I think you've heard
a lot from us about

your experiences
and totally echo,

this is a difficult time to be

thinking about what's next,

because it seems like we're
in a really tough spot,

then it may not
change for awhile.

But I think trying to think
about what future you wants

is also a really
big important part

of this discussion. And
so think about that.

You're trying to weigh
what your options are

much Next thing for you to do.

Absolutely. Thank you. You
guys have so much wisdom.

I can't thank you enough for

participating today and
sharing your stories and

just an incredible amount of

impact that the four
of you are having

on the worlds and a whole of you

involved in coping responses
in different ways.

So totally, totally
appreciate your support.

Collapse to all you
applause to all of you.

And for those of you
out there thinking

about Ford and applying,

I just encourage you to
get in the game, right?

Apply and see what happens.

You can decide.

You're admitted, you
can decide then,

but if you don't move

forward with the application
is not going to happen.

So it's all everyone's
career unfolded

incrementally and just thinking

about what are the first steps
that I need to be taking.

And hopefully today
gave you some insight

into what folks do with

this degree and why Ford is

what stands out for all of them

about why Ford was a good place.

So I think we'll stay on
for a little bit longer,

but I want to be
sensitive to time.

We already ran over
a little bit, yes,

happy holidays to everyone.

And hopefully we'll be
hearing from some of

you soon in your applications.

Alright, well, how's it going?

How's vaccine distribution or
what can you tell us, ALI?

I am, I am feeling so hopeful.

I mean, I've been sort
of I have a hop and

my step the last couple
of weeks because

of the news with the vaccines and

actually pay the news was
even so nice to hear.

Yea, I mean, it's just
such a dark time,

but I'm feeling really
motivated and I think we should

get to herd immunity sometime
summer or late summer 2012.

So we might have a
normal summer guy,

he's run length with
Blucher next flight.

Hand officially endorsed.
I should've started.

I represent myself.
You're not the NIH,

but I'm feeling very

hopeful about a normal
at least fall 2021.

Yeah, we did here here at
Wake County that we have in

allotment coming in
over the weekend,

but still very small.

Still thinking of how to recover.

Our essential workers are
health care workers first

and apparently
government employees

are going to be up there in,

in that group of essential
people at some point.

So let's see how that goes.

Wow, maybe I'll be
on a beach by March.

Because wow, I just
want to go hug my mom.

She's living in this base

lock down and I just
it's been brutal.

Yet what I, that's my hope.

Clerics clinic, Claire disappear.

She wants to jump from
here while they are.

Claire, what do you hear
non-thinking amount aside.

I think I'll be really
standard adventures.

Oh, yeah.

And this is me
personally speaking,

but like I think there's

a natural inflection
point around September.

So that's what I'm,

I Middle East before.

But it'll be interesting when

the second vaccine gets
administered because that one's

a lot easier to manage.

So we'll keep our
fingers crossed for,

for modern EDA come through
at the end of this week.

So, yeah, awesome
jelly or do you want

to jump on or put your
questions in the chat?

Either is fine. I can I can
just speak if that's okay.

So I have a question for ALI.

So you've mentioned
that you've had

an experience like working in

the Middle East and North Africa.

I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm
really planning

on pursuing an MPP
on the field of

international policy
and focusing on

the current conflicts in Yemen

and the Arab-Israeli
conflict as well.

I would, I would
really like if a few

can touch on how would like

the International Center Program

at the Ford School would help on

focusing on like the protocol
side, the conflicts there.

Aside from the
humanitarian award,

like like since
you've already had

like a touch over the region
over there? Yeah. Oh my God.

I mean, I think there's

so many professors
at the Ford School,

Jiangxi Charlie comes to mind.

His class was just so
influential and thinking about

geopolitical issues and how

they impact health and education.

And so I think there's such a,

there's such a wealth of
knowledge at the Ford School.

And I think I did,

I wasn't necessarily
involved with

the International
Development Group.

If one does exist,

Jennifer, maybe you can clarify.

But I you know,

everything that I
do sort of making

the local global, Making
the global-local.

And Susan Waltz was, was,

it was one of my mentors
at the Ford School.

And she's someone who's

had extensive experience
in the Middle East.

And so she and I talked a
lot about my experiences

in Lebanon and Turkey and Jordan.

And I think that there's just
such a wealth of resources,

especially with the
professors there.

I did my public
health internship and

Lebanon working in
the refugee camps.

So I think that context of being

able to think about
what foreign policy

is for social policy is something

that will become a lot more

robust with the Ford
school training.

So highly encourage
you to recommend,

highly encourage you to
reach, to reach out if

you have any thing

that you want to talk
about more personally.

Search page elements
were there that day.

This is going to be
a trivia question

for the trivia contest.

So the alarms, you're going
to get the answer to this.

But the number the the
federal agency with

the greatest number of

Ford School alarms is
the State Department.

And it's not what people would

have naturally thought, right?

Hhs comes up because
HHS, it's so big.

But we have more alum's in state,

both in the Foreign Service and

the civil service than
any other agency.

Which is, it speaks to

the strength of the
International which just wasn't

represented in that immediate
career paths of folks now,

but it's, it is huge.

And actually I can think
of an alum that was

USA ID with an assignment

and Yemen for a couple of years.

Now that's Gregg has Yemen

is where I was born and raised.

And one other thing
that I really like

motivates me for going to

the first scholars
actually tackling this.

Like it's, it has been

labeled as the worst
humanitarian crisis.

And I, I really want to see how

blight working with
other students at

the Ford School and see

what's their
perspective on tackling

these foreign policies and
what actual policies we can,

we can establish in
order to kind of tackle

this humor humanitarian issues

that we see in the Middle East.

But yes, thank you guys. And
I'll I'll reach out to like,

I can't remember exactly
what's his name?

Ali, a professor that
you've mentioned his name,

I think take a look at the
International Policy Center on

the website and the John
territories, the director there.

But those faculty that
are involved in IPC.

Sure thing. Yeah. Thank
you so much guys.

I truly appreciate that. You bet.

Absolutely. Alright. Well,
thank you guys so much.

I guess we will wrap it

and it just so always
so good to see.

Well, so good to see you.

Thanks so much for
the inland kiosk

that would be involved

in the Career Expo
and the trivia night.

Now inertia. Thank you. Bye.