Many of Michigan State University’s second-year Master of Public Policy students will be graduating this May. They have a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion that will allow them to put the skills they’ve acquired to good 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: Zachary Polselli
Ideal Job Location: Detroit, MI
Ideal Job: Zach aims to use his considerable knowledge of the policymaking process to improve program development and implementation in a large city or county in Michigan. Ultimately, he would like to become a city or county manager.
Through the MPP program and his experiences, Zach has developed the skills and understanding necessary for these demanding roles.
Work Experience: Zach has performed valuable policy work related to both program planning and legislative processes. Over the last three years, he has completed four internships with his state representative. As he explains, “I have seen all steps in the process of turning policy into law. This has helped me see what is politically feasible when trying to implement a policy. The policy content is as important as the political environment in which it is introduced.” He believes he could use his knowledge of the state legislator in his future policy work.
Last summer, Zach completed another internship in Detroit with the Wayne County Health, Veterans & Community Wellness as part of the InnovateGov internship program. This was one of his favorite and most valuable experiences in the MPP program because he was able to assist with policy from creation to evaluation.
Skills and Academic Training: Zach’s training in the MPP program has allowed him to combine analytical skills with his insights into the real world of policymaking, as he did when making plans to fulfill the needs of Wayne County’s citizens. He credits MPP faculty members Dr. Valentina Bali and Dr. Josh Sapotichne with inspiring and strengthening his knowledge and passion for policy.
His Policy Evaluation course was particularly valuable in helping him understand how to design and conduct sound program assessments. This type of work requires the thorough understanding of politics and policy that he has demonstrated in his previous roles.
Zach is well-prepared to take on the challenging policy needs of Michigan’s urban areas.