A few months from now, Michigan State University’s second-year cohort of Master of Public Policy students will be graduating. These 15 individuals bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to put the skills they’ve acquired to use. We’re posting profiles of all our soon-to-be graduates so you can get to know them—and maybe find the next addition to your firm or organization!
Name: Sean Weston
Ideal Job Location(s): Washington, DC. Also interested in working in the Detroit area.
Areas of Interest: Sean hopes to work with the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, or a U.S. Intelligence agency. He’d also be interested in working in Michigan’s auto industry, given its role as a “vital part of the Michigan economy.” “In any of those jobs,” says Sean, “I’d like to be able to put the analytical skills that I’ve learned in the MPP program to use, helping the organization better understand the data it receives so that it can make informed decisions.”
Academic Training: “I decided to take the MPP program because creating and implementing good policy is vital to the future of the nation,” Sean says.
In keeping with his professional aspirations, many of his research papers have focused on the defense and criminal justice sectors.
He’s especially enjoyed courses on Policy Evaluation and on Policy Development and Administration. “These courses are two sides of the same coin,” says Sean. “One taught us how to review a policy that has been implemented and give recommendation on how to improve it; the other showed us how to assess an organization and address any failings that might be found. Without a solid organization behind a policy, it will be hard to implement it effectively. But even a well-functioning organization can stumble when putting a new policy into place.”
Professional Experience: Sean has developed his professional skills and experience through several research assistantships and internships. At MSU, he has researched United Kingdom Supreme Court decisions for professor Ryan Black, and for professor Matt Grossmann he’s worked to identify the policy positions of influential organizations on federal legislative initiatives. He also interned as a legislative and constituent affairs assistant to Michigan State Representative Terry Brown, and interned last summer with Lansing lobbying firm Kelley-Cawthorne.
In all of these roles, says Sean, “I’ve had to set objectives for myself, determine if my research methods were effective, and then present those results to large groups of people. These skills are valuable in any type of job, and I believe that my work and school experience have improved them significantly.”