Major: Political Science
Year of Graduation: 2013
Which career path(s) have you pursued since graduation from Fordham University?
Since graduating from Fordham, I have been working as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Financial Services Advisory practice. My focus is on helping financial institutions and insurance companies navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape and either prepare for or remediate any shortcomings in, various regulatory plans and filings they are on the hook for.
What do you like about the work you are doing now?
Everything is constantly changing! The nature of the business means interconnections with many global events will eventually impact something in the Firm’s purview. Clients change, administrations change, social and technological paradigms change…. Even in the relatively short <5 years I have been part of this firm I have seen (and can anticipate) a massive effort spent by our clients and our firm itself to adapt to the market, the political landscape, the vastly differing priorities of the Millennial and Gen Z crowd, etc. Constantly shifting-gears keeps me on my toes and energized.
How did your experience at Fordham and in particular the political science major help you prepare for your current career? Was there a specific course or extracurricular activity that influenced your career development?
First and foremost, I’ve come to fully appreciate the Jesuit method of learning across a wide swath of disciplines. Anyone who is wondering why the Core Curriculum has you taking so many classes that seemingly have nothing to do with your major… trust me, even the token Astronomy and Psychology classes I took to “check the box” have come back with surprising value at one point or another.
In terms of the Political Science program, I think there are two primary lenses of Political Science research and teachings that have helped prepare me for the working world.
The first lens is a strictly “policy” or “governance” point of view. I’ve worked very closely with many of the Big Banks that have drawn the most flak from the newspapers and Washington D.C., and being able to comprehend and apply many of the big-ticket events or reforms that were heavily discussed while I was in school (the 2008 Financial Crisis, the sort of “Chinese Red Scare 2” in the US, the Dodd-Frank Act and the Volcker Rule, etc.) gave me a unique perspective on the changing impacts and responsibilities for my clients over my Business School colleagues. Changes from Brexit, the Trump Administration, etc. will continue to make waves amongst my clients and the industry, so I am grateful to provide my PoliSci perspective (along with many lawyers, economists, career bankers, etc.) to create a fuller picture of what’s happening in our industry.
The second lens is more of a social point of view, and not industry specific. Every corporation or business is going to have a variety of factions or functional groups with their own motivations. In my line of work, often a client will engage several firms at once – management consultants, technology consultants, risk consultants, lawyers, etc. Between these third parties, sub-factions within the client themselves, their peer organizations, the varying government parties overseeing the client, etc…. I find it extremely interesting to take a holistic view of how everyone interacts and attempts to manage their own individual goals. To me, this is the essence of Political Science occurring in a practical form.
Finally, I constantly think back fondly over my short study abroad opportunities with Fordham. Professor DeLuca’s China and Professor Nikolayenko’s Ukraine excursions brought me to places I never would have thought I’d visit. These trips made deep, lasting impacts on me (professionally or otherwise) – hopefully, there are still opportunities for students to participate in similar exchanges to “politically interesting” areas (e.g., outside the First World).
Please describe any internships you held as an undergraduate student that were helpful/relevant to your subsequent job search.
I did not intern, but I will say that my firm and many others spend a lot of resources on recruiting - those career fairs on campus can and will bring tangible connections that you can use to your advantage during a job search. We all study politics – we all know it’s really WHO you know, right?
What advice would you give for students who aspire to hold a job like yours?
I think it is easy to get discouraged if you graduate with a B.A. in Political Science and all job descriptions are asking for a B.S. in Marketing or some sort of Tech background. Good companies want good people regardless of what your diploma says (maybe not for niche roles, but you know what I mean!). I’ve hopefully outlined that my own B.A. in Political Science has, and continues to be, extremely useful. I have many colleagues that have degrees in Engineering, English, Anthropology, Psychology… anything you could think of - and I am willing to bet those were not listed in the classified ad either! Do not be afraid of leaping through administrative or bureaucratic hurdles to go after a job you want, and have faith that you have a quality education and alumni network in a degree from Fordham University.