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Alexandra Yacyshyn

Alexandra Yacyshyn

Major: Political Science
Minor: American Studies
Year of Graduation: 2015

Which career path(s) have you pursued since graduation from Fordham University?
I have pursued a career in law, specifically criminal law. I am an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel. I am assigned to the Juvenile Delinquency Unit of the Manhattan Family Court Division, where I prosecute juvenile delinquency cases.

What do you like about the work you are doing now?
I love the personal aspect of my job. Aside from my colleagues and supervisors, I spend most of my days in the office interacting with police officers, witnesses, and victims. And when I am in court, I communicate and interact with defense attorneys, members from the Department of Probation, judges, and court officers. Over the last year and a half, I have fostered personal relationships with these parties with the hopes of working towards the common goal of doing what is just. My job as a prosecutor in Family Court is to balance the needs of the community for protection as well as the best interests of the Respondents, or youth who are being prosecuted. As such, although challenging, I like that I am truly working towards the betterment of society each day.

How did your experience at Fordham and in particular the political science major help you prepare for your current career?
My experience at Fordham has helped me prepare for my career as a prosecutor due to the various requirements my political science coursework entailed. For example, in my Youth and Politics class, my Politics of the Urban Environment class, and in my Politics of the European Union class, I was required to write essays based on research I conducted and gave presentations where I was responsible for taking a position. In those presentations and papers, I often had to refute alternative positions and present why I believed my position was best. Research, writing, arguing, and presenting a case are things I regularly do as an attorney. Additionally, many of the political science courses I took were heavily based on class participation and contribution, specifically meaningful contribution where I was required to sit around a table and have a conversation with my classmates and professors. For example, in my Civil Rights and Liberties class and American Presidency class, I was required to be prepared to be called on at random by my professor and answer any follow-up questions presented towards me. Such is a regular practice in law school where professors engage in the Socratic method.

Please describe any internships you held as an undergraduate student that were helpful/relevant to your subsequent job search.
While at Fordham on a summer abroad, I had an internship in the New South Wales Parliament House in Sydney, Australia. Additionally, I interned at the Crime Strategies Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, as well as at the Southern District of New York.

What advice would you give for students who aspire to hold a job like yours?
Enroll in the political science classes that are heavily based on class participation and contribution. Though intimidating, those are the classes that prove most rewarding. Take your coursework seriously. Work hard and take advantage of your professors’ office hours, especially to see how you are doing and what you can do to improve!