Alumni

Graduates of the Political Science Department go on to use their educations in many different career paths. Our past students have obtained jobs ranging from working for election campaigns, law firms, non-profit organizations, and even public agencies. In order to inspire current and future students to study political science, a few of our Alumni have shared their stories listed further on down the page.

Danielle Cendejas Danielle Cendejas
Class of 2004
Employed at The Strategy Group as a Project Manager

Political & Civic Resume:
Danielle was an intern for:
  • California State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero
  • SEIU 1199 NW
  • Don Barbieri's 2004 campaign for Congress
Danielle was also a field organizer for the Obama for America 2008 campaign.

How did being a political science major prepare you for your career?

Knocking on doors in New Hampshire, choosing delegates for the Democratic National Convention and coordinating entertainment for an Inaugural ball are highlights of my career made possible because I studied Political Science.

However, my career in politics is less about where I have been or who I have met and more about taking what I learned while studying political science and applying it. Through my coursework, I learned the connections of philosophy and history how it pertains to government, current events and social movements.

My chosen career path has led me to working in political consulting. Our work includes conducting research, analyzing data and creating campaign strategy rooted in understanding how people view issues and government and what motivates them to vote. We work to identify messages that persuade voters to support our candidate or cause, communicate with them through direct mail and ask for their vote on Election Day.

With each campaign, lessons are learned, new skills are gained and most importantly, incredible impacts are made with wins and opportunities are missed with losses. Studying political science provided me with a strong foundation to build upon as I continue to progress in my career in politics.

What would you tell those considering a degree in political science?

I developed a passion for politics shaped by volunteering on campaigns and watching hours of The West Wing. I also knew I wanted to make an impact on society and work on issues and for causes that were bigger than myself. Studying political science was a great fit for me.

I encourage students considering political science to consider the potential of where this degree can take you. From city hall to the White House, state capitals to embassies, you’ll find dedicated individuals with backgrounds in political science working every day to make the world a better place.

The opportunities after graduation to apply what you have learned are available as there is always an election somewhere, governments and advocacy organizations in every city, county and state throughout the country and the world. With the knowledge and skills gained from studying political science, you’ll have the potential to follow your passion and make your mark on history.

John Myers John Myers
Class of 2005
Employed at Myers Law, PLLC as an Attorney

Political & Civic Resume:
  • Board of Trustees, Kalispell School District #5 (2011-2012)
  • Board of Trustees, Samaritan House (2011 - Present)
  • Board of Trustees, Flathead Community Foundation (2011 - Present)
  • Flathead County Election Resolution Board, (2012 - Present)
  • Enrolled in the Pennsylvania First Judicial District 2009 Pro Bono
  • Roll of Honor in recognition for exemplary pro bono work – January 2010

How did being a political science major prepare you for your career?

Having a degree in political science prepared me for law school, particularly with the political thought courses I took, as well as for my civic activities and professional work as an attorney. Law often requires the attorney to become knowledgeable in a variety of fields, but particularly an understanding of different government systems and the politics that factor into them has been helpful to me in many areas of my practice.

What would you tell those considering a degree in political science?

I advise political science majors to take as many of the political thought courses as they can. These courses will help you improve your ability to write and read critically in ways that will carry with you for life.

Meghan Yee Meghan Yee
Class of 2011
Employed at Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey as an Account Representative II

Political & Civic Resume:
Meghan has interned at:
  • The Feminist Majority Foundation
  • The California Governor's Office
  • John Driscoll's 2010 campaign for State Representative
Meghan was also a field volunteer on a California gubernatorial campaign and the Obama '08 campaign.

How did being a political science major prepare you for your career?

I could not be more pleased with my political science degree from GU! The skill set I obtained through my political science degree has provided me with a great foundation for the role and responsibilities I have taken on in my post-grad life. Being able to critically and analytically assess how people think, talk, argue, fight, and vote - and the ability to articulate these assessments through both word and speech have been essential in my work as a political fundraiser. The endless hours of reading, writing, and classroom discussion are worth it! These skills learned and perfected at GU are now applied to touch the real world of people and politics. So I wholly appreciate the holistic approach of the GU political science program.

What would you tell those considering a degree in political science?

We currently live in a nation with a delicate political climate, and a world of rapidly changing governmental structures. The landscape of today’s national and global issues range from collapsing economies to climate change, endless wars, humanitarian crises, women’s political participation both at home and abroad, political revolutions in the Middle East, and reforms in our immigration and education systems. Political science is a discipline that uses different analytical approaches to examine our world, people, and politics. And college is the time in our lives to critically think about world, to broaden our world views and join the dialogue on these issues.

Martha Burwell
Class of 2010
Self-employed as an independent contractor & entrepreneur.

Political & Civic Resume:
Martha has worked at:
  • Operations Director (Education Division) at the Global Peace Foundation

How did being a political science major prepare you for your career?

There were two main aspects of majoring in political science that were very useful to me as I developed my career. First, the ability to think at a systems-level. This means looking at issues like poverty, climate change, gender inequality, war, etc at a large scale, and examining how they function, how they interrelate, and how they are changed. So, rather than thinking of an issue or an event as isolated, you can start to look at it as a piece of something larger. In my most recent job, we looked at education systems in several countries, and how they interrelate with issues such as poverty. Then, we worked to find tangible solutions to improve the education systems, which would also positively affect the related issues.

Second, when I studied political science, I chose courses that had an international focus, and often with a social justice emphasis, because I’m interested in learning how we, as a country, affect the world and vice versa. A key part of this for me was studying abroad for a year. If you have the chance, I highly recommend it! This sparked my passion for travel, where I continued to learn about our impact on the world. Since I decided to pursue international nonprofit work, this direct experience of travel and learning about international relations was key in developing my career.

Finally, I may decide to pursue law school down the road, and a political science major also is a great base for the type of thinking required to become a lawyer.

What would you tell those considering a degree in political science?

If you’re on the fence about whether to study political science, consider that it is not exclusively for those interested in becoming a politician or a lawyer. It’s a very diverse degree that you can customize to your interests. It also leaved a lot of open doors, as it’s appealing for jobs in the business world, nonprofits, government, and international work.

Try out some unique classes, starting with a wide variety, and then narrow and deepen your studies once something really sparks your interest. For me, it was gender equality and human rights issues.

Also, become active in the issues you’re interested outside of class. You could try joining (or starting) a club, or finding work during the summer or on the weekends that ties in with those interests. If you only have a few extra hours, try volunteering for a local nonprofit. The goal is to immerse yourself in issues that you are passionate about. If you can get off campus and meet some of the community while you’re at it, even better! There’s a lot in Spokane if you go out and look for it.


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