Degree/Year: B.A., Political Science, 1994
Current Employer: Greenberg Traurig, LLP
A political science degree can serve as a springboard to various and rewarding careers, including law, journalism, government, business, and communication. I had a good sense that I wanted become an attorney, and the Pre-Law courses in the political science department were especially helpful in preparing me for law school. Before the first day of law school, I already knew proper BlueBook citation and how to analyze and apply reasoning from legal cases. Additionally, the quantitative coursework helped hone my analytical skills. I also was able to ask practicing attorneys for career advice through the Pre-Law Club and other contacts at the political science department, which gave me early insight into life as an attorney. The practice of law is challenging and intellectually stimulating, and the most satisfying aspect of my line of work is the ability to help clients resolve disputes so they can focus on productive matters.
My Bradley experience was invaluable because it gave me a solid foundation that served me well in law school and beyond. Bradley University offers a multitude of opportunities to all students and because it is a small, private school, affords students the ability to interact one-on-one with professors and fellow pupils. Through coursework and discussion, for example, my professors instilled in me several of the essential skills needed to be a successful attorney: critical analysis, persuasive writing, passionate advocacy and articulate oration. Moreover, the self-discipline and confidence I gained through leadership roles in extracurricular activities were instrumental in shaping my problem solving and time management skills, which are attributes of all good lawyers.
I am proud to be a part of the Bradley family and appreciate the support that I still receive today. It is easy to stay connected to Bradley after graduation; I remain in touch with several of my university professors and classmates and have formed new relationships with President Glasser and the Pre-Law Center. Even though I now work in Phoenix, Az., I am indebted to Bradley and value the encouragement that I continue to be given. Moreover, Bradley’s impressive national and international reach makes it possible to make new connections across the country and globally.
Degree/Year: B.A., Political Science, 2011
Current Employer: Ph.D. program, University of Colorado
Title: Graduate Student
I had always been interested in social studies broadly and political science gave me a chance to engage the materials of sociology, economics and history all at once. Studying political science at Bradley offered an opportunity to wrestle with the world’s most important problems. The subject offers a unique opportunity to study both theory and application. The prospect of addressing huge philosophical questions in addition to practical, real-world remedies attracted me to a major in political science.
There are so many advantages to majoring in political science. The field is much more diverse than most people realize. With classes in American and Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory, and Public Administration, there really is something for everyone. Political science is not just the study of “how a bill becomes a law.” It is a dynamic investigation into how power, identity and institutions shape the world that we all live in. The best advice I have to offer anyone pursuing a college degree is to study something that interests you. If you are considering a major in political science, talk to the professors in the department about what you are interested in and what their classes are like. Studying something you like will make everything easier. Finally, a degree in political science from Bradley will make you a better critical thinker. The skills you will learn in forming clear thoughts, writing and speaking well are attractive to any employer.
Studying political science at Bradley gave me the tools I needed to move forward with my education. The ability to take classes from all of the major sub fields of political science gave me a great opportunity to explore the material of the discipline. Once I had an idea of my areas of interest, I greatly benefitted from taking seminar classes, which offer a more personal way of engaging material. Additionally, what I have learned from Bradley in the area of methods in political science has been invaluable in graduate school. Studying political science at Bradley challenged me to become a better critical thinker. This has inspired me to ponder new research questions that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to investigate further.
The faculty at Bradley were an indispensable resource when it came time to look towards life after graduation. I received great advice about pursuing higher education in political science and personalized instruction on how to make myself the most desirable applicant to the best Ph.D. programs. The insight I received on issues like securing funding could not have been found anywhere else. I still keep in contact with many of my professors, and they continue to give me valuable advice about surviving at the graduate level.
Degree/Year: B.S., Political Science, 1995; M.B.A., 1996; B.S., Construction Management, 2004
Current Employer: A. Lucas & Sons Steel
Title: President and CEO
I was attracted to the study of Political Science because I grew up in a very patriotic home. Most kids looked forward to turning 16 and getting their license, but I looked forward to turning 18 so that I could finally vote in an election. The things I like most about my work is that I have been able to become very involved in decisions made on a local level. It is empowering to have a voice that is heard and I feel the best way to do this is to become involved in politics on a local, grass roots level.
My Bradley education has shaped nearly everything I do on a daily basis. The most important aspect of my job is the ability to communicate. I learned oral and written communication skills while getting my political science degree. As a student, I found the professors engaging, caring and determined to help me succeed. The small classroom size helped me get the one-on-one attention I needed.
As a small business owner, the greatest challenge is attracting quality employees. I have been able to hire managers, accountants and engineers from Bradley that have the skills necessary to hit the ground running. My involvement with Bradley continues to grow as my company has provided the structural steel for the Alumni Center, Renaissance Coliseum and the Markin Center.
The advice I have for students pursuing a degree in political science is to become involved in Bradley and the Peoria community. Every interaction you have teaches you the skills that all employers are looking for: the ability to communicate and the willingness to try new things. In 30 years, make sure you can look back at your college career with fond memories. Once a Brave, always a Brave.
Degree/Year: B.A., Political Science, 2006
Current Employer: Lewis and Clark Community College/National Great Rivers Research and Education Center
Title: RiverWatch Coordinator
I was drawn to political science because I am a political junkie. There’s a bit of diabolical ingenuity that I both love and hate with a fiery passion. One day, I hope to run for office on a platform that can garner widespread support from the people, rather than on a platform that is meant to divide the people.
I remember that the importance of networking was a constant theme during my stint at Bradley. At the time, I was skeptical because I thought networking was code for nepotism. Looking back, I realize that networking is about getting your name out there and showing people the quality of your work. I will never forget that lesson.
My advice for any political science majors, one that is applicable to just about every degree, is to network, network, network. Just make yourself available to people practicing in your field, and you’ll be amazed at the connections you can make and how useful they will be to your career.