MPP Students Practice “Elevator Pitch” with Well-Connected Practitioners


MPP students chatted with Kyle Jen, Deputy Director of Michigan’s House Fiscal Agency (lower right) and other practitioners at a networking event on March 23.

A few weeks ago students in Michigan State University’s Master of Public Policy program had an excellent opportunity to practice skills they’ll need in job interviews—and to make connections that just might help them land internships and jobs in the future.

Over coffee and cookies at the Kellogg Center, students met with five individuals who are working on some of Michigan’s most important policy issues:


L-R: Jen Flood, Kyle Jen, Sara Wycoff McCauley, Brian McGrain, and Arnold Weinfeld

  • Jen Flood, and MSU MPP alum, is a public relations specialist at Lansing firm Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications. Her areas of expertise include clean energy and education.
  • Kyle Jen, also an MSU MPP alum, is Deputy Director at Michigan’s House Fiscal Agency, which is in charge of producing objective, nonpartisan analysis of all bills brought to the floor.
  • Sarah Wycoff McCauley is a former senior strategy advisor in the Executive Office of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. She is currently the Principal at Strategic Policy Consultants, a firm she founded in January of this year.
  • Brian McGrain, a graduate of MSU’s MPA program (the precursor to today’s MPP) is the Associate Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), an association of over 230 local community development organizations.
  • Arnold Weinfeld is CEO and Board Chair of Prima Civitas, a nonprofit organization launched in 2006 by Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon with the goal of providing technical expertise to Michigan communities looking to diversify their economies, improve local governance, and more.

This event, like the MPP program’s speaker series, was yet another example of the program’s dedication to not only build students’ technical skills, but also expose them to real-world policy work and jump-start their careers after graduation.


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