Alul Yesak

Majors: Political Science and Peace Studies

Year of Graduation: 2014

Graduate School/Location: Master of Arts - Education Policy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2018; Currently working on Ph.D - Education Policy and Leadership, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2022

Current Position: Education Program Manager, Minnesota Department of Education, St. Paul, MN

Please give a brief description of your current position.

I get to work with schools, school leaders, and education providers on MN education statutes, rules and regulations. I answer questions and provide information to families and students.  One of the coolest parts of my job is that I create and edit documents and web content to be accessible for people who use a screen reader.

What path did you follow to get to your current position?

Outside my education of Master of Arts degree in Education Policy, I worked for educational nonprofits on educational issues such as chronic absenteeism, student/family advocacy, access to entrepreneurship programs, college and career readiness, and access to a more equitable education. 

What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?

There is not one pathway to this career, but it requires patience, and the desire to learn every day. It’s important to immerse yourself in critical educational issues to learn more about the needs and possible resources.

What skills are important in your field?

A passion to serve others, love for education, and willingness to learn. The Minnesota Department of Education is filled with people with amazing talents and knowledge base, so every interaction with other employees is an opportunity to learn.

What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your position?

The most rewarding part of my job has been the opportunity to serve the public while learning from amazing colleagues.

Most challenging?

The most challenging part of my job is when you realize that there is a lot of work that needs to be done in education especially related to the increasing racial achievement gap, discipline gap, and chronic absenteeism in our public schools.

What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?

Being part of the CSB/SJU Amnesty International, studying abroad in China, the research opportunity through the Peace Studies Club and my involvement with the College of Saint Benedict-Sister Nancy Hynes Institute for Women's Leadership, have all played a role in igniting my passion for public service and for creating a more equitable access to education.

 

(June 2019)