The Department of Politics was proud to host our 3rd annual “Opportunities in Politics” chapel on Tuesday, September 11th, and it was encouraging to see a large number of non-majors attend the event this year! During Opportunities in Politics, students are given a first-hand account relating to what our department’s alumni and current students are doing, and how a Politics major has benefited them.
Dr. Paul Rego, our department chair, kicked off the event, and began by talking about how flexible Politics is as a major. He emphasized how easily Politics can be added as a minor or paired with another major, and he talked about how diverse our department majors’ careers have been. According to data provided by 2004-2010 alumni, it is estimated that 72% of our majors go into a major-related field directly after school here (another large percentage of alums attend either graduate school or law school), and that 72% includes professional internships, education, service-related work, law, government, for-profit companies or organizations, and non-profit organizations. Politics is a major that opens so many more doors than it closes, and there are an immense amount of opportunities after school for someone studying this discipline. As Dr. Rego put it, the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills learned in the major are “transferrable to all walks of life”.
Next, we heard from Alejandro Garcia, a senior who is double-majoring in Politics and Economics. He talked about all of the opportunities he received while studying Politics here at Messiah, such as the opportunity to attend a 3 day conference, entitled “Values and Capitalism” (which was organized by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a leading think-tank in Washington, DC). He also had the opportunity to eat dinner with the participants in a Messiah-sponsored debate: “Is Capitalism Moral?” While he expected this to be a crowded dinner full of students from all disciplines, he walked into the room to find President of AEI Arthur Brooks, prominent author and founder/editor of Sojourner’s Magazine Jim Wallis, founder of Forgotten Voices Ryan Keith, President of HOPE International Peter Greer, and PA State Representative Steven Bloom. Alejandro also stressed that the Politics professors here are open to dialogue and to new ideas, and that all ideas are welcome in the classroom. He has also completed internships for the Commonwealth Foundation and HOPE International. After school, he would like to attend graduate school for either Public Policy or Public Administration. Using Alejandro as an example, we can see that opportunities in politics are virtually unlimited!
Finally, we heard from Nick Kratz, a 2012 graduate of Messiah. One of his major emphases included how much he enjoyed the Messiah professors, and the professors in the Politics department, in particular. He talked about how they helped him to realize his potential, and he also emphasized that building relationships with professors is necessary, especially relationships with our Politics professors, because they can open up many doors for you later in your academic or professional career. One thing that Nick realized, in particular, was the importance of completing an internship. During his internship, Nick learned from his supervisors that, while many of his fellow interns had higher GPA’s, Nick’s work was of higher quality. Nick also highlighted the diversity of jobs that you can get with a Politics degree. He now works in Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s Office of Legislative Affairs, where he coordinates meetings with the Governor for constituents and businesses. He loves his job and says that “it is never the same day twice.”
For more information about the B.A. in Politics program at Messiah College, check out our website at https://www.messiah.edu/departments/politics/ ! Any questions about the major and how it can apply to you can be directed to Dr. Paul Rego, Department Chair, at email@example.com.