Life After PC Political Science
Krista Minnitti (2020)
I am currently a 1L student at the University of Connecticut School of Law. I am taking my law classes remotely while teaching through Fulbright. PoliSci impacted my decision to get involved with Fulbright because it taught me the importance of a mutual understanding and cultural exchange between the United States and other countries. As a Fulbright in Spain, one of the most important aspects of my job is facilitating this exchange. PoliSci prepared me for Fulbright by allowing me to learn more about how other nations work around the world. In the classroom, I learned to think critically and question why things are done a certain way. These are skills that I have taken to my own classroom, as I encourage my students to think critically about their lives in Spain.
Rachael Minassian (2019)
When the pandemic hit, I was just about to finish up my first year at Boston College Law School. I had gone straight through to law school from PC, and it was a big adjustment from the intimate political science courses I had come to know and love. School was immediately moved online, and spring classes were given pass/fail grades in light of the hardship to students. I worked at a mid-size Boston law firm over the summer entirely remotely, and in my second year at school I’ve only had one class on campus per semester! Our recruiting season was pushed from June to January, but fortunately I was able to secure a summer associate position at another Boston law firm for this summer. I expect that to be remote or mostly remote as well. My biggest advice to all students is to network, network, network. The legal world is incredibly tight-knit, especially in Boston, and the connections that you make can be invaluable in your search for summer jobs and post-graduate employment. Not only are mentors invaluable in finding opportunities, but they’re also a great resource to help you find your passion and learn more about different niche practices. Before you even step foot on a law school campus, it would be to your benefit to start conversations with law students and practicing attorneys in order to get their insight. The PC network will come up huge for you here, as it did for me! Friar connections have helped me immensely, and I’ve even gotten a few great interviews from those relationships!
Rachel Laravie (2018)
What I loved about Political Science at PC was how relevant all the classes were to the real world. In my courses, we went beyond the textbooks and applied the topics we were learning about to current events. Some standout courses for me were American Public Policy with Dr. Hudson, Public Program Evaluation with Dr. Myers, and my Global Politics of Religion capstone with Dr. McCarthy. My minors in Sociology and Business Studies (and certificate in Public Administration!) went hand in hand with my PoliSci major. They helped to support and round-out my degree and truly expanded my knowledge in several fields. I absolutely recommend that students add a minor(s) or another major to their degrees. Take full advantage of your opportunity to learn! At the beginning of the pandemic, I was in my second year of AmeriCorps VISTA, a full time national service program. My term finished in the fall of 2020, and I began a new position at a mobile technology company. I’ve been working remotely since the start of COVID, and I love it! I’ve discovered that sitting behind a desk for 8 hours every day is not for me. Now, I have the flexibility to take a break from emailing clients and building in-app content in order to bake cookies, do laundry, or enjoy the great Colorado outdoors!
Caroline Killeen (2017)
If I could go back in time, I would absolutely pursue political science again. I found the political science classes that I took while at PC to be incredibly interesting. I could read about Russian political propaganda or civil wars in Latin America all day and never get bored! More importantly, political science classes help you to develop skills such as thinking critically and communicating effectively. Having the ability to both problem solve and thoughtfully articulate solutions to your peers plays a vital role in having success after graduation, and I truly believe that having a political science background puts you in a position to do just that.I was very lucky to have wonderful professors and take a wide range of classes, from American Presidencies to Civil Liberties to International Security, so I would not do anything differently if I had the opportunity. When I was in school, I always thought that the logical next step for me after graduating as a political science major was to go to law school. Assuming that this was my only option, I focused my time on taking classes that I thought would best prepare me for a career in law. Too frequently, I think that political science majors (myself included) believe that their education is a stepping stone to a career in either law or politics. However, based on my post-collegiate experience, there are far more career opportunities at your disposal as a political science major because of how easily transferable the skills that you develop as an undergraduate are. I wish an alum had told me more about the variety of career paths that were available to me based on the major I had chosen. A helpful piece of advice that I received from an alum while I was an undergrad was to remember that the PC community stretches far beyond the walls of campus. The professional network of PC graduates is immense and fellow Friars are always willing to lend you a helping hand if you are willing to ask. When you graduate and begin your professional career, it can be intimidating to think about what goes into building a professional network but, as a Friar, your professional network is already much larger than you realize.
Jessica James (2016)
I am a Ph.D. student at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., studying American political communication and political behavior. My undergraduate experience at PC played a pivotal role in my scholarly development. I majored in history and political science and by the beginning of my junior year, I knew that I wanted to study political science for a living. In my senior year, I wrote an honors thesis examining the impact of the media’s coverage of terrorism on the political attitudes and behavior of the millennial generation. I was able to achieve this, in part, because of the amazing political science faculty members. With their guidance (particularly my advisor, Dr. Matt Guardino) I was able to conduct my own research that prepared me for the intense graduate school environment. My education in the PC Political Science Department helped me hit the ground running in my Ph.D. program, where I am learning advanced research methods and was able to obtain a paid summer internship with the American Political Science Association after my first year in the program. I am extraordinarily grateful to the Political Science Department at Providence College for their instruction and genuine interest in my ambitions.
Nicholas Wallace (2013)
My passion for policy, politics, and public service can be attributed to my coursework with the PC Political Science Department. The expertise of the faculty, combined with the comprehensive core curriculum, helped me develop the necessary qualitative and quantitative skills to thrive in the Master of Public Policy Program at the The George Washington University. But more importantly, the department challenged me to succinctly articulate what I believe, why I believe it, and why anybody else should care.
The individualization of my degree can be best summarized by my opportunity to conduct a senior honors thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Joe Cammarano. Knowing my passion for health and fitness (I’m a Certified Personal Trainer), Joe guided me through a research project exploring the different policy-levers lawmakers utilize in an attempt to prevent obesity, and whether or not the existence of certain health policies was correlated with a state’s childhood obesity rate. This year-long assignment was the catalyst to my career in health policy in Washington, D.C., which has included time with a federal agency, on Capitol Hill, and now currently with a non-profit organization that seeks to promote a culture of health among mayors and city leaders
Riley Maloney (2017)
While at PC, I was a history and political science double major. My research interests surround refugees of political conflicts, both historical and modern. As a sophomore, I completed an international research project investigating Amerasians, children of American GI’s born during the Vietnam war. This project gave me the opportunity to conduct in-person interviews both in Hanoi and Ho-Chi-Minh-City. As a senior, I authored an undergraduate honors thesis investigating Loyalists who fled to Prince Edward Island following the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Upon graduation, I successfully secured offers to study International Relations at top European universities including the University of Amsterdam and Trinity College Dublin. However, I have decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at Oxford University.
John Hindley (2017)
The department offers a strong program that helped me expand my knowledge of politics, improve my ability to conduct qualitative and quantitative research and express complicated and thought-provoking ideas to others. I have been interested in politics since I was young, and the department increased my passion for it. My favorite political science course was American Public Policy. This course discussed the intricacies and formulation of major policy programs and issues like Social Security, the debt and deficit, and the Affordable Care Act which still impact the country’s politics today. In the fall of 2017 I enrolled in The George Washington University School of Law. I believe the political science department has given me the tools to be successful in my next endeavor. The political science program offered me and others the knowledge and skills that can lead anyone towards a bright future.
Taylor Gibson (2017)
As a freshman, I came to Providence College as a declared Political Science/Spanish double major. Along the way, I also picked up a Latin American studies minor. I knew early on that I was interested in a career in law. After graduation, I enrolled in the American University Washington College of Law in D.C. on a full academic merit scholarship. My mentors in the Political Science department have given me the tools I needed to become the outspoken, successful activist I am today. Dr. Hudson’s honors politics course challenged me, in my first semester on campus, to find a problem at PC and work with administrators to solve it. Dr. Hyde’s empirical analysis course and Professor Guardino’s capstone gave me the quantitative skills needed to conduct serious research in the field. Professor Riofrancos has furthered my love and understanding of the Latin American region. The best part of the Political Science program is that there is such a wide variety of courses; not only did I take classes that I was already interested in, I was also able to engage in new subject matters that I had never learned about previously, like politics of resource extraction. If I offered one piece of advice to future Political Science majors it would be to study abroad and take a course on politics outside of the United States. The major’s flexibility allows for that semester off campus, and everyone should take advantage of that.