Major: Political Science; International Studies
Minor: Theological Religious Studies
Hometown: Astoria, NY
Why did you decide to major in political science?
When deciding to major in a particular subject, I wanted to ensure that I was choosing a subject that I was purely passionate about. This major had to be something I could never get sick of. Therefore, I had to decide between international studies and political science. Frankly speaking, I was more fascinated with politics. Learning about how power is distributed, and understanding who gets what, when and how was important to me. After taking my Introduction to Politics class, I learned that political science is not an easy discipline. It requires intensive reading, writing, research and critical thinking skills. As daunting as that all sounds, it is an incredibly rewarding major. In my opinion, Fordham’s political science department has some of the best professors that I have ever taken. They are incredibly knowledgeable in their fields, extremely supportive and prepare students to apply their logical reasoning skills. All of my professors care about providing their students with the necessary tools so that they can think about the implications of policies on their own and create policy prescriptions to solve political and social issues.
What is your favorite aspect of being a student at Fordham?
I believe that nothing can compare to the quality of education that I have received by the virtue of being a Fordham student. Fordham has very small class sizes that allow professors to get to know their students and for students to get to know other students. I especially appreciate that not all of my classes are lecture style. We are encouraged to participate in class discussions and ask questions. By engaging in discussions with my professors, I feel more comfortable with going to office hours to receive advice on research papers and exams. Furthermore, professors are more concerned if I am learning and understanding the material over grades. They are open to making changes to ensure that students are able to maximize their learning abilities. As a result, I am never bored in class.
What have you learned as a political science major that made a difference for you?
After taking over a dozen of political science classes, my professors have taught me the essential skills of critical thinking and analysis. From Anjali Dayal’s metaphors of sheep and gatekeepers to explain the complexity of collective action in the context of international organizations to Zein Murib’s emphasis on learning how to ask So What? to everything, I have gained the importance of not only learning about theories, but also putting them in practice. Political science is not only the study of political theories, it also assesses the implications of putting them into practice. As a result, I am not ashamed to say that I enjoy reading academic journals as a pass time. My brain is automatically wired to see the politics in everything that I read. I often find myself thinking about the assumptions an author is making and develop critiques along the way. I cannot express the importance of possessing these skills for my future career endeavors.
What are your career aspirations and plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on going to law school. By majoring in political science, I was able to discover my passion for international affairs and American politics. In law school, I would like to focus on international law and immigration. My ultimate goal is to work for the United Nations and create policies that strengthen international cooperation in international organizations.
What advice do you have for incoming students considering the political science major?
Firstly, I would advise incoming students to take advantage of the diverse options in political science courses that Fordham offers. After signing up for Intro to International Politics, I learned what I loved. If I didn’t sign up for Anjali Dayal’s class, I wouldn’t want to work in the United Nations one day.
Second, if you have an opportunity to study abroad, take advantage of it! I studied abroad in London during the fall semester of my junior year. I took courses in political science there and gained an international perspective on politics. I was able to learn about how the rest of the world perceives the United States and its role in politics.
Third, you should know that doing well in college is not difficult. In order to do well, you have to put in time and effort into doing your work. While reading dozens of pages every night does not sound like fun, it pays off when you know what the professor is talking about and helps ease stress when it is time for midterms and finals. You are doing yourself a favor by investing in your own education!