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: Mike Cnossen
Ideal Job Location(s): Grand Rapids or Lansing, Michigan. Open to opportunities farther afield.
Areas of Interest: Mike is excited about “bridging the gaps that often exist between policy research, political decision making, and policy use.” He hopes to work in a role “that allows me to be involved in an advisory or advocacy role in policy formation,” and that allows him to communicate in a clear and objective manner that crosses political divides. Through work and internships, Mike has already gained experience doing this sort of work in the fields of education and healthcare.
Academic Training: Mike is concerned by “an alarming decrease in dialogue and deliberation in politics,” but he says he is hopeful that this state of affairs can be improved. “I believe that public policy research, when conducted and communicated well, can provide common reference and mediating ground for political deliberation,” he says. MSU’s Master of Public Policy program has helped him acquire tools that will help him to deliver policy research in a way that fosters more deliberative decision-making.
“The most important classes for me have been the quantitative methods classes, which taught me how to analyze data and research through sound techniques, and the Policy Evaluation class, which demonstrated the importance of understanding the underlying assumptions and frameworks of policies and programs,” says Mike.
Professional Experience: “By graduation, I will have researched the healthcare market and policy environments for almost a year,” says Mike, who interned with State Representative Daniela Garcia and with Spectrum Health’s Government Relations office during the course of his studies.
“I also have two years of experience working in a commercial, or group, health insurance agency. My work there involved explaining health plan coverage to agents and developing marketing messages and strategies. These experiences have given me a strong foundation for understanding the complexities of the healthcare system.”
Prior to his studies, Mike served on active duty in the U.S. Army for six years as a linguist and intelligence collector. He learned Arabic, and in Afghanistan, led a team of soldiers and initiated dialog with local Afghan communities about their needs and perspectives.
You can connect with Mike on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelcnossen