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: Xiao Niu
Ideal Job Location: United States
Ideal Job: Xiao would enjoy working at a think tank or consulting firm because his ultimate goal is to perform timely research and give sound advice to enable policy makers to make good decisions. He is also interested in applying his skills to a policy research project, as he does at his current internship.
His studies and skill set enable him to do thorough policy work in a variety of topic areas, but he is especially interested in economic development strategies and higher education policy.
Work Experience: Currently, Xiao is completing an internship with the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. He is researching and writing a thorough literature review, performing data analysis, and conducting interviews for a project focused on dual enrollment policies. Dual enrollment programs allow high students to enroll in college-level courses that are often transferable to four-year institutions at no cost. This is also the topic of his upcoming MPP capstone project.
“This experience gives me a chance to improve my research skills as well as communication skills,” he says.
Skills and Academic Training:
Xiao has enjoyed the MPP program immensely. He notes that policy intrigues him because society and its needs are always evolving. He also appreciates the rigor required to perform sound, complex policy research.
The most valuable part of the MPP program for Xiao was the opportunity to engage and learn with classmates. He explains, “Your classmates are part of your education. We learn from each other, and realize that there are so many other perspectives on the same issue.”
For this reason, he has most enjoyed courses that involve discussion. This reflects his interest in the way policy findings and advice can be communicated to policymakers.
“In the near future, I want to learn from working. I want to learn more research techniques, learn more about the world and society, and learn more about myself. Then I may come back to the school to pursue a PhD.”
Xiao concludes, “My ultimate career goal is to become a successful policy researcher, whose insight and research could influence critical decisions.”